PLYMOUTH, Conn. (WTNH) — A former Plymouth Center School teacher faces charges of sexual assault and risk of injury allegedly involving juveniles who were his students.

Plymouth Police said they received a complaint against James Eschert, 51, on Sept. 29, 2021. The complaint, according to police, focused on inappropriate conduct between him and several juveniles who were his students at the time of the alleged incidents.

The investigation led to an arrest warrant signed by the state’s attorney office on Jan. 18. Eschert turned himself in on Monday. He was charged with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and five counts of risk of injury.

Eschert was taken to New Britain Superior Court where he was held on a $350,000 court-set bond.

According to the arrest warrant, Eschert had worked in the Plymouth Public School system since 1998. From 1998 to 2021, he taught both third and fourth grade. He also briefly taught second grade in 2021.

The incidents allegedly took place during the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2019-2020 school years.

News 8 previously reported Eschert was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 17. He was then suspended on Oct. 9 and resigned that day.

After Eschert’s arrest, Superintendent Brian Falcone issued the following statement:

The Plymouth Public Schools will never compromise the safety and well-being of our students. The school district has cooperated fully with the appropriate governmental agencies in connection with this investigation and will continue to do so. The individual in question resigned from his teaching position in early November. As this is a pending criminal matter, the district cannot share any further details at this time.

Superintendent Brian Falcone 

Mayor Joseph Kilduff also issued a statement.

Whenever allegations of this nature arise, our first thoughts need to be with the victims and their families. Anyone who commits these kinds of crimes should be held accountable and this arrest is a step in that process. Mr. Eschert is accused of betraying the sacred trust between student and a teacher. It is my hope and expectation that he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I want to thank the Plymouth Police Department for their thorough investigation and the Plymouth Board of Education for fully cooperating with this investigation.

Mayor Joseph Kilduff

Read the arrest warrant here or below. WARNING: The document contains content some may find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

Court documents also indicate Eschert was giving away test answers to his favorite female students and had been written up for giving away standardized test scores 17 years ago.

Parents and teachers are shocked and disgusted by the allegations.

“I am a teacher. I am a preschool teacher… It’s disgusting and it’s sad,” said Dawn Lee of Plymouth. “My kids go to school here and then you start thinking, what about the other teachers? How do we not know? It’s sad.”

Police said the case is not closed and is still being investigated.

Another teacher and the principal are under investigation and have been put on leave. The school board said it is not related to the sexual assault charges on Eschert.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.