Tutor at Bloomington's Pinnacle School accused of molesting 7-year-old girl in class

Girl says tutor touched her, made her touch him

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A former instructor at a Bloomington school for students with learning disabilities is accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl during class.

Ben Haile, 19, a former tutor and small group instructor at the Pinnacle School, has been arrested on a preliminary charge of felony molestation.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a 7-year-old student was sitting on Haile's lap while the class watched a movie with the lights off Oct. 8.

The girl told her mother, and later investigators, that Haile put his hand inside her pants and shirt, and then forced her to touch his "boy part," according to the affidavit.

When he was interviewed by police, Haile confirmed the girl was sitting on his lap during the movie, but said he only touched her genitals and chest by accident.

Denise Lessow, executive director at the Pinnacle School, said Haile was removed from the school last month, after the incident came to light.

"The wellbeing of our students is of paramount concern and importance," she said. "We will take all action necessary to protect our students."

 

School administrators say the students are put through an annual "good touch, bad touch" program as well as other safety courses.

Haile, who also attends courses at Ivy Tech, faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of the charge.

Haile graduated from the school. Lessow said the girl involved is still a successful student at the school.

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