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North Hills gym teacher accused of inappropriate contact with elementary student

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — UPDATE (8/27/19): Charges against Nathan Buttenfield have been withdrawn.

ORIGINAL STORY (11/20/18): A teacher in the North Hills School District is facing charges for allegedly inappropriately touching a student while at school.

Nathan Buttenfield, 41, of Gibsonia was arraigned Tuesday morning.

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Buttenfield is a physical education teacher at Highcliff Elementary School. The district said he has been placed on leave.

Officers were called to the school on Nov. 2 for a reported sexual assault of a student who was under the age of 13. They met with the parents of a young girl.

According to the parents, the girl told them she had been touched inappropriately in gym class earlier in the week. The girl told her parents her teacher touched her butt and private parts over her clothes while in class, police said.

One of the alleged incidents during a game called "Ghostbusters," according to a criminal complaint. The girl said Buttenfield put his hands on her hips and touched her private parts, the complaint said.

During the same class, Buttenfield was putting equipment away in a closet and asked the girl if she wanted to see inside. He grabbed her by the hips and lifted her up to touch the ceiling, the complaint said.


Buttenfield is facing charges of institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and is due back in court next month.

The district released a statement on its website outlining the allegations and announcing two panel discussions that will take place later this month.

Buttenfield previously served as a coach and volunteer in the neighboring Pine-Richland School District.

Superintendent Brian Miller sent out a message to parents on Tuesday, saying, in part, "The teacher had served as an assistant varsity baseball coach at Pine-Richland from 2012-2013 through 2015-2016. He served as a volunteer during the 2016-2017 season. He has not been affiliated with the Pine-Richland School District since that time."