4 alleged victims, ex-principal testify during day 2 of school officer's trial

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PITTSBURGH - All four alleged victims took the stand Wednesday to testify against Robert Lellock, a former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer, accused of sexually assaulting former students.

The second alleged victim to take the stand, a former Arthur J. Rooney Middle School student, who was 15 years old at the time of the assaults in 1998 or 1999, said Lellock would pull him out of class, take him to a janitor's closet and touch him inappropriately.

He said Lellock once offered him $50 to perform sex acts.

“I feel like I was (taken) advantage of by a police officer,” he said. “I feel like he needs to be punished. He knows what he did.”

Lellock, 44, of Beltzhoover, is charged with crimes including indecent assault, corruption of minors, false imprisonment, official oppression and making terroristic threats.

Police began their investigation in July 2012 after a former student reported that Lellock sexually assaulted him several times inside the janitor's closet in the late 1990s.

The investigation led police to an alleged victim who testified on Wednesday, after two former teachers recalled Lellock frequently pulling him out of class.

In May 1999, Ronald Zangaro, the former principal of the school, walked in on Lellock and another student, now deceased, inside the closet.

When Zangaro asked what they were doing, the student said they were “just wrestling” and Lellock “kind of looked astonished that I was there.” He said Lellock told him they were just getting ready to wrestle.

Zangaro said he notified Lellock's supervisor and interviewed the student and teachers. The Pittsburgh Public Schools board suspended Lellock for 20 days.

Before the commonwealth rested its case, a prosecutor showed the jury a letter that Lellock wrote to district officials explaining the storage room incident.

In the letter, Lellock admitted that he should have used better judgment but claimed he and the student were engaging in “horseplay and wrestling.”

The school district hired Lellock in 1990 and paid him $51,180 a year. It suspended him with pay last July, and he resigned in September.

Police charged Lellock after the statute of limitations had expired because state law later extended the time limit for child abuse and because Lellock was a public employee.

Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.