Ritchie teacher charged with sexual abuse

HARRISVILLE – A Ritchie County High School special education teacher was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing a student on two occasions at the school.

David Peter Weekley, 43, of 2323 Gnats Run Road, Pennsboro, is charged with first- and second-degree counts of sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse by a parent/custodian, according to a release from the West Virginia State Police.

Weekley was arraigned Wednesday in Ritchie County Magistrate Court, where bond was set at $100,000. Magistrate clerk Janis Mahaney said Weekley posted bond and was released until a preliminary hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. March 6.

According to the criminal complaint from magistrate court, the investigation began on Feb. 7, when Cpl. J.L. Brewer with the State Police’s Harrisville detachment took a complaint from the school system.

A male student at the high school told the trooper that sometime during December, Weekley had taken him to a closet in the auditorium to straighten it up. Inside the closet, the victim said the teacher touched him inappropriately and performed a sex act on him.

The complaint says the victim reported that on Jan. 17, the teacher asked him to come back into the classroom after others were dismissed to hear a speaker. Weekley allegedly locked the door and kept the student inside for 90 minutes, during which he touched the youth inappropriately.

Ritchie County Schools Superintendent Ed Toman said Wednesday that the district will thoroughly investigate the allegations and “appropriate action will be taken.”

“It is anticipated that I will make an initial personnel recommendation to the board on March 10 at our regular meeting,” he said.

That meeting is slated for 6 p.m. at the board office in Harrisville.

“Both as a superintendent and a father of a child in our school system, we make every effort to keep our students safe from harm,” Toman said.

Because the situation is a personnel matter, Toman said he could not comment further when asked whether Weekley had been the subject of any prior disciplinary actions or complaints.

He did clarify that the teacher who is accused is a different individual than the David Weekley who serves as the district’s director of student support services.

A phone number for Weekley could not be located, and an attorney was not listed on magistrate court documents.