A former first-grade teacher was working at a private school until a couple of weeks before his arrest Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting one of his students in Montville Township in 2005, the private school confirmed Tuesday.
Jason Fennes, 37, of Boonton, worked as a first-grade teacher at Cedar Hill Prep School in Somerset from September 2010 until a couple of weeks ago, according to a Cedar Hill Prep official, who declined to comment further.
Meanwhile, Fennes has been removed from the MTC Rebels Track Club program, an independent club where he had been listed as a director, in light of the charges, club director Angelo Harasts said Tuesday.
Harasts said he could not see any way Fennes could be involved going forward and that the program would continue without him.
Fennes was arrested Monday on for allegedly abusing a girl who was in his class in 2005, authorities said. He remained in the Morris County jail on Tuesday afternoon in lieu of $100,000 bail. The court did not have an attorney listed for him.
Fennes worked for the Montville Township public school district for more than a decade, from September 1998 until he resigned in June 2010, according to Montville schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried, who started in the district the month after Fennes resigned.
Fennes then started at Cedar Hill Prep the next school year.
Fried said Fennes had coached track at Montville Township High School, but was not sure what years he coached.
The girl, who is now about 13, told someone who authorities identified as a "citizen witness" about the alleged abuse in 2007. The witness came forward in December 2011. The witness wasn't sure what to do with the information and did not pursue the matter with police in 2007, according to the arrest affidavit.
Fried had a letter emailed to parents Monday evening outlining some information about the case. The letter said he was notified by Montville Township Police Chief Richard Cook on Monday about the arrest.
"On Monday, March 5, 2012, I was notified by Chief Cook of the Montville Township Police Department that a former teacher, Jason Fennes, was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct and endangering the welfare of a minor, both in the second degree," Fried wrote.
Fried said the investigation was conducted over the last several months and that the district cooperated fully.
"The safety and welfare of our children is the District's highest priority," Fried wrote. "This news is certainly upsetting to me, and I am sure, to you. If you or your child has any concerns, your child's guidance counselor is prepared to provide you with support. Ms. Fran Schlenoff, our Director of Guidance, is also available to you. ... Please know we are very committed to the well-being of our children and families. If there is anything I can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to ask."
A William Mason School Home & School Association president referred questions to the superintendent.
A bio for Fennes that was posted on the Cedar Hill Prep website said he has 12 years of experience teaching first grade and two years teaching kindergarten. It said he graduated from Monmouth University in 1996, where he majored in education and sociology and ran track for the college team.