A substitute teacher's aide at Franklin Central School was arrested Friday for allegedly having sex with several students within the past year.
Robert R. Becker Jr., 36, of Franklin, faces three counts of third-degree rape; one count of third-degree criminal sexual act; four counts of endangering the welfare of a child; and one count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse.
Becker is a former corrections officer at the Delaware County jail, according to Undersheriff Douglas Vredenburgh.
Becker, who had worked at the jail for three months, tendered his resignation within the last three weeks, but before his arrest, Vredenburgh said Sunday.
The resignation is a personnel matter on which he could not comment, Vredenburgh said.
Becker is alleged to have had sex with three different girls who were all younger than 17, according to a news release from deputies.
"It spans, I believe, since last fall," Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup said Sunday.
The alleged sex was reported about two weeks ago when one of the girls came forward, Northrup said.
Becker was indicted by a Delaware County grand jury Thursday and arrested the following day. He is to appear at 11 a.m. today in Delaware County Court for the continuation of his arraignment, Northrup said.
Neither Northrup nor Vredenburgh would comment on how Becker may have become acquainted with the girls or any other details of the case.
Franklin Central School Superintendent Gordon Daniels said Sunday that Becker was a substitute teacher's aide who had worked five or six times at the school within the last year. He was also a volunteer assistant junior varsity boy's basketball coach for the last two seasons, Daniels said.
Becker has not worked for the school since classes began this academic year, Daniels said.
In a letter to parents drafted after Becker's arrest, Daniels said he learned of the allegations early last week and the school district contacted the Delaware County Department of Social Services, which in turn referred the matter to the sheriff's department.
"Please be assured that pending a final determination by the police and the district attorney as to how to proceed with criminal charges, this individual will not be on campus or at school events," Daniels wrote.
"The district is waiting to hear the outcome of the police investigation so that appropriate discipline can be taken," he wrote.
Because Becker worked for the school on an infrequent basis as a substitute, he is not on the payroll, Daniels said Sunday.
The school's guidance office will be working with the school resource officer, who is a state trooper, to instruct students on personal safety and avoiding child abuse, Daniels said.
The school is also cooperating with the investigation, he said.
"We will assist in any way we need to," Daniels said.
On Friday, Becker was sent to Otsego County jail without bail by Delaware County Judge Carl Becker. The defendant Becker was sent to Otsego because of his previous employment at the Delaware County jail.
The defendant and the judge are not related, Vredenburgh said.
Northrup said Sunday he did not know who is going to be the attorney for Becker.
Third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act, a charge formerly known as sodomy, are felonies typically lodged in cases of statutory rape, when the alleged victim is younger than the age of consent.
Endangering the welfare of a child and attempted second-degree sex abuse are misdemeanors.
"It's still under investigation," Vredenburgh said.
He added that once a case such as this gains publicity, it is not unusual for other alleged victims to come forward.
The girls were not identified by deputies. It is also the policy of The Daily Star to not identify the victims or alleged victims of sexual crimes.