Band teacher allegedly touched girls innappropriately

An initial appearance is scheduled for March 20 for an East Troy band teacher charged with inappropriately touching female students.

      John C. Rash, 45, was charged March 6 in Walworth County Circuit Court with four counts of repeated sexual assault of a child. He faces up to $400,000 in fines and 160 years in prison.

      According to the criminal complaint, after learning that the state Department of Public Instruction was revoking Rash’s teaching license after reports that he had inappropriately touched girls’ breasts, the East Troy Police Department spoke to two 17-year-old and two 18-year-old girls who described Rash touching them and other girls in the same manner in 2017 and 2018 when they were in middle school.

      Each girl described Rash seating students on either side of him during small-group band lessons once a week, according to the complaint. When Rash would conduct, his hand would touch the girl’s breasts, they said, according to the complaint. Each girl described Rash raising his arms out to his side and then making contact with her breasts with the outside of his pointer finger toward his thumb, the complaint states.

      A 17-year-old girl said Rash also slapped her on the thigh, and said other female students had issues with Rash touching their breasts during lessons, according to the complaint. The girls said they reported their concerns to the school counselor, but the only result was that Rash had to put their chairs farther apart during small group lessons, the complaint states.

      The girl said during the next lesson after reporting her concerns to the counselor, as Rash was setting up the chairs, he looked at the girl and said, “Is it far enough away?” according to the complaint. The girl said she felt uncomfortable and quit band, the complaint states. She said while playing a song called “Wiggle Worm,” Rash said “a worm that wiggles like (the girl’s) butt,” according to the complaint.

      The other girls also reported Rash repeatedly touching their breasts in the same manner and making inappropriate comments, and others quit band as a result, according to the complaint.

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