Elementary school teacher turns himself in for repeated sexual assault of student, police say

Elementary school teacher turns himself in for repeated sexual assault of student, police say

A teacher at Leopold Elementary School turned himself in to detectives Friday morning following a sexual assault investigation involving one of his former students.

Madison police arrested 50-year-old Terry Fay on a tentative charge of repeated acts of sexual assault against the same child.

“This has come out of the blue for all of us,” said Jennifer Cheatham, the superintendent for the Madison Metropolitan School District. “Safety and security in a school district is always a top priority, so for these allegations to come forward is just shocking and disturbing for all of us.”

Elementary school teacher turns himself in for repeated sexual assault of student, police say

Police said they learned about the accusations in September after a teenager, who now lives in another state, told a trusted adult details about sexual assaults that took place five years ago, when the child was 10.

The school district put Fay on immediate administrative leave once officials learned about his arrest, according to a letter to parents from the district.

“This is such a serious situation, and if the allegations were to bear true later on down the line, it is a violation of everything it means to be a teacher,” Cheatham said.

In the letter, Cheatham said the top priority of the school district is to support the students and families and understand the facts of the case.

“My personal obligation is to make sure I understand every detail about this case to make sure we follow through and make sure that we’re doing everything we could possibly do to keep every child safe and secure at school,” Cheatham said.

Billie Johnson lives just down the road from Leopold Elementary School. She said she’s known Fay for years, and it’s hard for her to believe the accusations.

“Mr. Fay is so wonderful. He’s so sweet. He’s so personable,” she said. “I’ve seen him interact with kids. I’ve sat in classes with him, and he’s just great. You don’t find too many excellent teachers, and he’s actually an excellent teacher.”

Johnson said her nephew had Fay as a teacher, and she was hoping her son would as well.

“I hope that it was just something that was taken wrong, but you never know. You never truly know,” she said.

Fay has been a teacher for about 20 years, according to Cheatham, and she said his only record was one of good work.

Student Services staff will be on hand Monday to meet with anyone who needs to talk.

“That’s true for students, family members, staff members beyond Leopold because an issue like this, news like this touches people well beyond the school walls at Leopold, and we know that,” Cheatham said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.