Fencing coach pleads guilty to sexually assaulting Fairfield Ludlowe teen
Published 7:32 am, Wednesday, December 25, 2013
A former youth fencing coach faces up to four years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting a female student at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
John Tejada, 36, of Mixville Road, Cheshire, who had coached fencing at both Fairfield Ludlowe High and the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in the Southport section of town, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault before state Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin in Bridgeport.
Although Tejada faces a four-year prison term under the plea bargain, the judge granted his lawyer, Robert Golger, the right to argue for a lesser term at Tejada's sentencing hearing March 14.
Both Golger and Senior Assistant State's Attorney Cornelius Kelly declined comment until that hearing.
The assault took place last year, police said, while Tejada was coaching a fencing team of athletes from Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools. He had been the team's coach since 2010, police said.
Tejada is the third Fairfield teacher or coach to be charged with sexual assault since 2012.
Last month, 47-year-old Glenn Mishuck, a popular English teacher at Fairfield Ludlowe, was charged with 17 counts of second-degree sexual assault for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student.
In October, Morgan Frawley, a substitute teacher at Tomlinson Middle School, was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy she met as a youth group leader at a New Canaan church.
Tejada is the first of the three to plead guilty.
His arrest came after Margaret Mary Fitzgerald, then the assistant superintendent of schools, reported on Feb. 27, 2012, to the state Department of Children and Families that the parents of a 17-year-old female student at Fairfield Ludlowe High told Fitzgerald their daughter was having a sexual relationship with the school's fencing coach, Tejada.
The girl's parents said they discovered the relationship after seeing numerous text messages on their daughter's cell phone from Tejada that were of a sexual nature, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The texts graphically detailed sex that Tejada had with the girl, the affidavit states.
Although Tejada was immediately placed on administrative leave from his school coaching job, the girl refused to give police a statement and the criminal investigation ended at that time.
But in January, the affidavit states, police received a call from a lawyer representing the girl's family who said the girl, now 18 and a university student, had changed her mind and was willing to give a statement.
In that statement, the teen said she had been working at a birthday party at the Fairfield Fencing Academy when Tejada pushed her up against a wall and kissed her.
Later, after a fencing match at Fairfield Warde, Tejada asked the girl to come with him to the school's weight room, according to the warrant. In the room, the teen said Tejada pushed her down on a piece of exercise equipment and had sex with her, the warrant states.
On another occasion, the girl said she had sexual contact with Tejada in the trainer's room at Fairfield Warde. And during a movie night at the fencing school, he again had sex with her, the affidavit states.
Each of the incidents is corroborated by texts Tejada sent the girl in which he recounted what had occurred in great detail, the affidavit states.