Police said the teen told them that in December 2015, he gave Johnson a poem he had written and wanted to have published in the school newspaper.
He said Johnson told him the poem was one of the best he had read and then returned it with “Are you gay? On four or five occasions police said the teen said allowed Johnson to masturbate him behind Johnson’s desk in his classroom when there was no one else around.
BRIDGEPORT - A former long-term substitute teacher at Harding High School has been charged with sexually assaulting a male student.
Police said the teacher masturbated the 17-year-old student on a number of occasions in his classroom in exchange for giving the student high grades and allowing him to “cheat” on tests.
Robert Johnson, 43, of Park Terrace, was charged Tuesday with fourth-degree sexual assault. Johnson, who taught English at the high school and was also the faculty advisor on the student newspaper, was dismissed in April from the school after the allegations against him were reported.
He was subsequently suspended by Source4Teachers the private company that had hired him.
Police said the student denied having sex with Johnson.
Police said when they later confronted Johnson he initially denied sexually assaulting the teen and claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy at the school.
However, police said he eventually broke down and admitted he sexually assaulted the teen.
“When I asked for help he would go to other students instead of going to me,” police said the teen told them.
When Johnson told the teen he was getting a failing grade, the student asked him why, police continued. Police said a female student told them she had once walked into Johnson’s classroom to find Johnson and the teen standing close together behind Johnson’s desk.
She said Johnson immediately jumped on being discovered and claimed he was helping the teen with an essay.
Police said another male student later told them he had contacted a man on the gay dating site Grindr only to discover the man he had contacted was his teacher, Johnson.