Published April 05. 2013 3:00PM Updated April 06. 2013 12:26AM
A former history teacher at Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic who is accused of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a 14-year-old student in 2010 is taking his case to trial.
Robert S. Pfeiffer, 31, of Hebron pleaded not guilty to risk of injury to a minor. Jury selection is under way in New London Superior Court for a trial beginnign April 22. Pfeiffer turned down an undisclosed plea offer from prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman. He has been free on a $50,000 bond since his arrest in April 2012.
Hired by the all-girls Catholic school in August 2008, Pfeiffer resigned in April 2010 after the student’s friends saw the texts and threatened to report him, according to an arrest warrant affidavit from state police Detective Christopher Greer.
Pfeiffer also had a late night meeting with the girl in a basement room at the school, according to the affidavit, which says the girl brought along a friend and that she jerked her hand away when Pfeiffer attempted to make her touch him.
On April 17, 2010, Pfeiffer went to the principal, Sister Loreto Beckstein, and told her he was “texting hypothetical scenarios to ensure that (the girl) would be able to say ‘no’ to boys in the future.” Pfeiffer then resigned, according to the affidavit.
Detectives interviewed the girl and her friends but could not recover the text messages, which they said the girl deleted from her prepaid cellphone. They also did not recover the texts from Pfeiffer’s Verizon Wireless account and were told text information was available for only three to five days.
During the investigation, police spoke with RHAM High School Principal Scott Leslie, who said Pfeiffer was hired as a substitute teacher in 2006 and was dismissed almost immediately “due to unusual and bizarre comments made to students.”
Attorney Michael A. Blanchard is representing Pfeiffer. Arthur C. Hadden is the trial judge.