Longtime elementary school music teacher accused of sexual assaulting minor

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PITTSBURGH —

An Avonworth School District teacher is on administrative leave following his arrest on charges of sexually assault, a district official said.

Ohio Township police on Friday charged 59-year-old Walter Street with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, and other crimes.

Street, who joined Avonworth in 1989, is an elementary school music teacher and heads the school chorus, spokeswoman Dana Hackley said.

“The district is cooperating with law enforcement during this ongoing investigation,” Hackley said in a statement. “It appears these criminal charges are not directly related to current Avonworth School District students.”

The district superintendent alerted police after finding a letter detailing an inappropriate relationship on Street's computer last month. The victim told police Street began assaulting her when she was 10, and it continued for several years.

“We would like to assure the public and assure, particularly our parents, that, at this time, it does not appear any of the criminal charges impact any of our current students,” Hackley said.

Street is not permitted on school property, Hackley said. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 13.

“I'm more relieved now that he's out of the school.  He was too friendly with the girls,” said parent Sousan Panizzi. “I cautioned my daughter to be kind to him, but he hugged too many of the students.”

Channel 11’s Rick Earle reported investigators first questioned Street about five years ago when a 17-year-old girl said he molested her. However, the teen recanted and police dropped the case.

Authorities told Earle they’re concerned that there may be more victims. Anyone with information on the situation is asked to contact police.

Street is being held at the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of a $200,000 bond, online court records show.

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