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FAIRFIELD, Ohio -
A substitute middle school teacher in Fairfield, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday morning after police say he was seen performing a sex act on himself in a classroom while students were present.
Tracey J. Abraham, of Cincinnati, was charged with public indecency, a first-degree misdemeanor.
A Fairfield school resource officer at Creekside Middle School on Nilles Road received several complaints that the substitute teacher was observed performing the act. No students were physically involved in the act, officials said.
The school officer removed the teacher from the room.
Abraham was booked and arraigned in the Fairfield Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon.
According to court records, Abraham’s case was continued to 8:30 a.m. Jan. 15 in municipal court. Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell released Abraham on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from all locations where there are children under 18.
Fairfield City Schools said students reported suspicious behavior by Abraham “taking place behind that teacher’s desk.”
“Once the administration at Creekside Middle School was made aware of this behavior, the school resource officer immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and building,” said school spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher. “At this time, the school district is not aware of the substitute teacher having physical contact with any of our students. In addition, we are not aware of any students being exposed to any nudity.”
Creekside Middle School’s administrators have attempted to contact the parents and guardians of every student who was in Abraham’s classroom. Also, the district reported the incident to the Ohio Department of Education.
“Providing a safe, secure and positive learning environment for our students and staff has always been and will continue to be our most important priority,” said Gentry-Fletcher.
Chris Brown, superintendent of the Butler County Educational Services Center (BCESC) – the organization that handles the hiring and scheduling of substitute teachers in Butler County school systems – told the Journal-News Abraham had passed Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks when hired in 2012.
“He also went through a background check in 2017, and there has been nothing in his background,” Brown said.
Brown said Abraham also has worked as a substitute teacher in other Butler and Warren County school systems but was out of the office at the time and unable to access a list of the districts.
Lakota School officials said Abraham has on occasion worked as a substitute teacher in some of its schools, but they have no record of any complaints against him.