FORT WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania — Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher P. Ward announce the arrest of Michael Cheatle, 37, of Chester Springs, Pa., on charges of Institutional Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact With a Minor/Sexual Offenses, Corruption of a Minor and Endangering the Welfare of a Child related to a sexual relationship with a female student at Germantown Academy, where the defendant was employed as a teacher at the time while is wife was also pregnant.
On July 29, 2020, a woman reported to Whitemarsh Township Police that in 2014 at the end of her 11th grade year at Germantown Academy in Ft. Washington, she and her first-year teacher Cheatle began an 18-month intimate relationship. An investigation was launched that determined through text messages, emails and other evidence that the defendant had engaged in sexual behavior with the minor student both inside and outside of Germantown Academy. Further, the victim identified Cheatle by describing his stomach tattoos.
CBS Philly reported: Text messages that date back to June 2019 show the two talking about what happened. Cheatle says, “I am totally to blame, as I was the adult in the situation. Horribly, I came to view you as an adult when I should not have. I may have inadvertently used our relationship to fill some kind of hole in my lonely sad life. I’m becoming a better man everyday. I struggle with what happened between us, I struggle with other issues in my life.”
The victim expressed her hurt.
“You announced, in a room full of my high school friends, that your wife was pregnant, as though we weren’t engaging in an emotionally, and physically, intimate relationship, and with complete disregard for the fact that that would break me,” she said.
Cheatle resigned his teaching position at the school on Sept. 1, 2020.
Germantown Academy officials have been fully
cooperative with the investigation. Cheatle was arraigned today before Magisterial District Judge Deborah Lukens, who set bail at $100,000 unsecured, along with the condition that the defendant not have any contact with children other than his own. Cheatle was released on his own