A former first-grade teacher in Nebraska whom prosecutors say admitted to sexually abusing six girls has waived his preliminary hearing and will head to trial, according to reports.
Gregory Sedlacek, a 30-year-old former teacher at Fontenelle Elementary School, stood before a judge on Wednesday in Omaha, where he waived his preliminary hearing in connection to six counts of first-degree sexual assault on a child and one count of third-degree sexual assault on a child, KETV reports.
Deputy County Attorney Molly Keane told a judge that Sedlacek victimized six girls, all of whom he has confessed to sexually assaulting.
“He admitted to touching all of the kids that we have charged,” Keane said Wednesday.
But Sedlacek’s attorney, Marc Delman, said he plans to file motions to request suppression hearings to ensure that the purported confession was obtained legally by police.
“Right now, it’s pure hearsay,” Delman told the station.
Prosecutors said at least four other girls have been forensically interviewed by investigators and some of Sedlacek’s alleged victims told authorities that they were inappropriately touched by him on many occasions. One of the girls also told police she saw Sedlacek molest several other students during the alleged incidents, which prosecutors claim took place between August and November, KETV reports.
Sedlacek was arrested on Dec. 3 after teachers at the school called the Nebraska child abuse hotline to report on Nov. 20 that he was spotted with his hand up a 7-year-old girl’s skirt while at the school’s playground. The three-year employee was immediately placed on administrative leave, while the girl later told police that Sedlacek had digitally penetrated her while at the playground and also inside a classroom, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
The girl later told police she saw Sedlacek inappropriately touch four other students, while authorities claim Sedlacek has since admitted to molesting six students, the newspaper reports.
Omaha Public Schools officials voted to fire Sedlacek during a meeting on Dec. 17. If convicted on all counts, he faces at least 120 years in prison. Sedlacek remained held without bail Thursday at a jail in Douglas County, online records show.
Some parents of students at the school, meanwhile, accused staffers of keeping them in the dark regarding the allegations and subsequent charges filed against Sedlacek.
“At this point, as a mother, I’m very angry,” the mom of a student in Sedlacek’s former first-grade class told WOWT. “They didn’t tell me anything.”
The woman said she had “weird feelings” about Sedlacek upon first meeting him and recalled a time when she entered a classroom and he was apparently startled as he sat next to a student.
“He just gave me weird butterflies in my stomach,” the woman, identified only as Denise, told the station.
The woman’s son told her Sedlacek was allowed to make a brief return to his classroom to tell them that he’d be “going on vacation for a while,” she said.
“They told me … out of their mouth: ‘He’s gone and he won’t be coming back,'” the woman recalled. “And I’m like, ‘Well, why?’ And they wouldn’t tell us. They’re like, ‘Well, we can’t release that information, but just know that he won’t be returning. I’ve considered taking my kids out of school period because I don’t trust anyone at this point and I definitely don’t trust [Omaha Public Schools]. At all.”
District officials later told parents in an email that the principal of Fontenelle Elementary, Eric Nelson, was placed on leave a week after Sedlacek was charged. The message did not mention Sedlacek, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
“Due to privacy issues, we cannot share information beyond that at this time,” the email read.