WBNS-10TV, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Worthington Teacher Faces Sexual Assault Charges

Oct 23 2007 6:13PM

WORTHINGTON, Ohio - A Worthington Christian High School teacher awaits extradition to Wisconsin after he was arrested Monday on sexual assault charges.

Jason Crary was being held in the Franklin County Jail on four counts of sexual assault of a student, 10TVs Cara Connelly reported.

Police said the alleged offenses occurred in 1997 and 1998 when Crary, 36, was a teacher and coach at Heritage Christian School in Milwaukee, Wis.

Crary is accused of fondling a 16-year-old soccer player at least four times. Police said the alleged assaults occurred at Crary's home.

Worthington police took Crary into custody at the request of Milwaukee police, Connelly reported.

"Mr. Crary was a staff member at Heritage Christian School in the late 90's and we have had no contact with him since," Heritage Christian School said in a statement. "We are saddened by the news and are cooperating with authorities. We are praying for all involved."

Crary is an English teacher and a girls' soccer coach at Worthington Christian High School. He has been teaching there since 1999, according to the school's Web site.

Worthington Christian said it knew of no accusations in Ohio against Crary, Connelly reported.

One of our biggest priorities in the very near future is to restore any confidence that has been broken in the course of events, said Troy McIntosh with Worthington Christian Schools. If a student were to have allegations against him we would encourage them to come to us and we would report them to the rightful authority.

The school district issued the following statement: "We remain committed to providing the highest quality, Christian-based education and ensuring the safety of our students. We will commission an outside independent review of our practices and procedures to ensure quality and safety."

Crarys arrest came days after the resignation of another Worthington Christian teacher and coach, Connelly reported.

Dwayne Smith stepped down on Friday after The Columbus Dispatch reported that he was accused but never charged with fondling a middle school student in 1996.

In 1988 Smith asked the district for forgiveness and was re-hired.

On Tuesday, McIntosh said the district did not regret the decision to allow Smith back.

There have been no allegations against Mr. Smith that would cause us to think we put students in jeopardy, he said.

Worthington Christian said it has been aggressive in following and surpassing state law through background checks, but Crarys arrest would not have showed up because charges against him were filed last week, Connelly reported.