Preliminary hearing set for former para-educator accused of child sexual assault

YORK – A preliminary hearing has been set for Scott M. Velasquez-Lopez, 23, of York, who had been working as a para-professional at York Elementary School and an assistant cheer coach at York High School prior to be charged with two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child.

He was taken into custody two weeks ago, following an investigation by the York County Sheriff’s Department.

Lopez has been charged with two Class 3A felonies.

According to the affidavit filed with the court, it is alleged Lopez inappropriately touched a six-year-old and a seven-year-old. The alleged situation did not take place at the school but rather at a private residence elsewhere, according to court documents.

No other details about the case can be published due to it being graphic in nature and in an effort to protect the identities of the alleged victims.

Lopez was immediately terminated by the York Public School District, upon his arrest.

The investigation and Lopez’s arrest all took place in the course of one day, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, as the school administration and sheriff’s department acted immediately upon receiving information about the alleged assaults.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, York Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew, Principal Katie Burger and York County Sheriff’s Investigator Lt. Alex Hildebrand met with York Elementary staff to inform them of the situation. Shortly afterward, Dr. Bartholomew sent statements to parents. Immediately thereafter, Dr. Bartholomew released the following statement to the public: “York Public Schools is aware of recent allegations and arrest of one of our employees. This individual is no longer employed at York Public Schools. To our knowledge, all allegations occurred off school property. YPS will continue to work with the York County Sheriff’s office during this investigation.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Hildebrand encouraged parents to reach out if they believe their child was involved or if they have questions regarding contact with Lopez. He asks that if any parents have those concerns, they can contact him, Bartholomew or Burger.

During Lopez’s first court hearing, his bond was set at $100,000, 10% bond.

He also asked for public defense, which was granted. In his financial affidavit filed with the county court, he said he is indigent because he “was let go due to this charge.”

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