WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Public School District has suspended a seventh-grade teacher who was arrested Tuesday on sexual assault charges involving a 14-year-old boy in Trumbull.
Dr. Timothy "TJ" Leonard, 37, of Southbury, was arrested after he was found in a vehicle having sex with a 14-year-old boy in a movie theater parking lot. He is suspended from the Wilton schools pending the outcome of the investigation and from his job as an adjunct instructor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.
"The news comes an an incredible shock to our entire school community," superintendent of schools Kevin J. Smith wrote in a letter to parents. "Dr. Leonard has worked in Wilton for many years and had developed a very positive reputation as a teacher.If the allegations are true, Dr. Leonard violated the trust of all in the Wilton Public Schools and throughout our community."
Smith's statement was also issued as a press release.
The school district has suspended Leonard immediately from his job and are cooperating with police, Smith wrote.
He said Middlebrook School has mobilized the school's mental health staff to create a support plan for students, parents and staff.
Leonard was charged with risk of injury to a minor and fourth-degree sexual assault. He posted $10,000 bond. The two reported they met through the online dating app known as the Grindr.
Leonard has also been suspended from his position as an adjunct instructor of graduate studies at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, according to the Connecticut Post .
“The university takes all reasonable precautions to protect our students, and at this time we have no knowledge of any inappropriate behavior by Mr. Leonard with any of our students,” SHU spokeswoman Funda Alp told the Post.
Leonard taught at Middlebrook Middle School, which serves grades 6 to 8, from 1999 to 2006, and from 2010 until now, according to the Wilton Bulletin .
From 2006 to 2010, he served as assistant principal at Somers Middle School.
He earned a master's degree in education from Sacred Heart and a doctorate in education from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.