“I remember a lot of inappropriate touching that you wouldn’t expect out of a teacher – rubbing of the arms and shoulders and legs of students. I believe he got away with so much because he taught when kids were young and easily intimidated and he was a very intimidating man,” – A former Auburn Schools student and Auburn Schools parent on Stephen Jaszek
AUBURN/WORCESTER – On Wednesday, Aug. 23, Auburn Police Department Detectives assisted by South Hadley Detectives and Patrol Officers as well as Troopers assigned to the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (VFAS) arrested Stephen Jaszek, 62, of South Hadley on an arrest warrant issued by the Worcester Superior Court for four counts of Rape of a Child and one count of Aggravated Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14.
Jaszek was arraigned Thursday, Aug. 23, in Worcester Superior Court on indictments alleging aggravated sexual abuse of a child, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Mr. Jaszek is a retired music teacher with the Auburn School District and the crimes are alleged to have been committed within the last 10 years during school hours.
Two former students of Auburn Public Schools independently told The Citizen Chronicle similar stories of Jaszek’s classroom behavior, including anger that escalated to rage, throwing chairs in the classroom, and barriers in the classroom such as a “booth” where students would have to go for punishment or a barrier-like wall that he would use to create distance when his anger became unmanageable. The former students spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the nature of the crimes.
A former Auburn Schools student whose son also attended Auburn Public Schools tells The Citizen Chronicle, “Back in the late eighties when I had him, he had fits of rage, would throw objects including chairs and would have to count himself to 10 behind his ‘wall’ in order to keep himself from exploding. He favored some kids more than others and was always angry at the boys it seemed.”
She also remembers strange behavior in the form of inappropriate touching.
“I remember a lot of inappropriate touching that you wouldn’t expect out of a teacher – rubbing of the arms and shoulders and legs of students – in more of a sensual way, not in a concerning, ‘are you okay?’ way,” she remembered
“There were two sides to Jaszek, in front of the other teachers, parents and superiors he appeared to be a stand-up guy at times, but when he was just around his students, that man disappeared and the real Jaszek came out, in a horrible way,” she confides.
The Auburn Schools aluma said that her own son told her about “how he was an angry teacher, had very weird antics about him” and reflected on why the behavior was tolerated for so long.
“I believe he got away with so much because he taught when kids were young and easily intimidated and he was a very intimidating man,” the woman continued.
Another former student, who also asked not to be identified, told The Citizen Chronicle about similar behaviors.
“I had him as a music teacher several years ago. I am 22 now. I had him all throughout elementary school I believe. I will never forget him because he had such an anger problem. I remember him screaming at us if we were being noisy and not listening to him, and I remember him saying how he acknowledges his anger problems and now when he gets mad, he is going to count from 10 to one,” the former student recalls.
“He would also throw chairs across the door, push tables, knock over things. And he had this almost, like a selfie booth type box and if he got really mad he would make people stand in there for a couple of minutes while he continued the class,” the former student continued.
Jaszek is currently being held without bail for an arraignment at Worcester Superior Court tomorrow morning.
The incidents leading to Jaszek’s arrest allegedly occurred nine to 10 years ago at the former Julia Bancroft School. Auburn Police are continuing to investigate the case. Anyone with information or questions regarding this matter is asked to call the Auburn Police Department at 508-832-7777 or the District Attorney’s Children’s Advocacy Center at 508-792-0214.
In addition to setting $5,000 cash bail, Judge Janet Kenton-Walker ordered him to stay away and have no contact with the victim, have no unsupervised contact with anyone under age 16 except his son and be monitored with a GPS bracelet. The case was continued to Sept. 24.