Vveteran high school math teacher say that child sex charges
POSTED: 7:55 am EDT August 26, 2004
UPDATED: 11:12 am EDT August 26, 2004
LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Neighbors and colleagues of a veteran high school math teacher say that child sex charges leveled against her are difficult to believe.
Cecelia Schneider, 50, is accused of performing a sex act on a young boy and sending a photograph of the incident on the Internet, authorities said. She was arrested after police searched her home Tuesday as they investigated a nationwide child pornography ring, prosecutors said.
“We’re just trying to make sense of it, and we really can’t,” said Andrew Teeple, principal of Monmouth Regional High School, where Schneider has taught for about 25 years.
“The more I think about it, the more I can’t believe it,” Teeple told the Asbury Park Press for Thursday’s editions.
Schneider is charged with aggravated sexual assault and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Two of those four endangering charges involve the production and distribution of child pornography.
Schneider was held in Ocean County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Police records accuse Schneider of assaulting the boy on Dec. 31, 2002, about a month before he turned 3. An image of one act was sent on the Internet, police records state.
Authorities said they were led to Schneider by information found on the computer of a Manchester man arrested on child pornography charges last week. Thomas S. Swieder, 27, had been linked through his e-mail address to a series of arrests in Marin County, Calif. He was charged with receiving and distributing child pornography.
On Wednesday, Swieder was charged with sexual assault for allegedly soliciting Schneider to perform a sex act on a child, said Lt. Jeff Harper, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
School officials said Schneider was married, had one child and was considered a model teacher who went by the nickname “Ceil.”
“When you think of a good teacher, that was Ceil,”Teeple said. “She always tried to engage the students and seemed to still like what she was doing.”