Former fencing coach at Fairfield high schools, Wakeman Club charged with sexually assaulting student
Updated 8:30 am, Saturday, April 13, 2013
A 36-year-old man who coached Fairfield high schools' fencing team, and also coached the sport at Wakeman Boys and Club, has been charged with sexually assaulting a female student at Fairfield Ludlowe High School last year.
John Tejada, of Mixville Road in Cheshire, was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging him with second-degree sexual assault.
The assault took place last year, police said, when Tejada was still coaching the fencing team comprised of athletes from both Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools. He had been the team's coach since 2010, police said.
He was put on administrative leave from his high school fencing role in February 2012 by school officials, according to police, and resigned shortly after that.
School officials did not return calls for comment Friday.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Margaret Mary Fitzgerald, the assistant superintendent of schools, contacted the state Department of Children and Families on Feb. 27, 2012, to report the parents of a 17-year-old female student at Fairfield Ludlowe told her that their daughter was having a sexual relationship with her high school 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 warrant. The texts graphically detailed sex that Tejada had with the girl, the warrant states.
Though Tejada was immediately placed on administrative leave from the school coaching job, the girl refused to give police a statement and criminal investigation ended at that time.
Last Jan. 23, the affidavit states that police got a call from a lawyer representing the girl's family who said the girl, now 18 and a university student, changed her mind and was willing to give a statement.
In that statement, the teen said that Tejada was friendly with female students and often hugged them. The girl said she had been working at a birthday party at the fencing school when he pushed her up against a wall and kissed her. Later, following 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 says.
Tejada told police he is now working as a producer for the Tribune Co.
Tejada taught fencing at the Wakeman Club as a seasonal employee during its eight-week spring and fall sessions from May 2010 to December 2011, according to David Blagys, the club's executive director.
"The allegations are serious and warrant investigation by the proper authorities," Blagys said Friday.
Tejada was released on a $150,000 bond, police said Friday. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 25 at state Superior Court in Bridgeport.