Man abused foreign students at Catholic school, police say


BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

EBENSBURG — A former house parent at a central Pennsylvania Catholic school has been charged with sexually attacking two Chinese international students he supervised.

John Bowman Thornberry, 28, of Mills River, N.C., declined to comment when reached Tuesday by The Associated Press. He was charged Monday by the Ebensburg police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Thornberry has lived in North Carolina since he was removed from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in February.

That’s when school officials alerted authorities upon learning of the accusations during a meeting with the foreign students.

During the meeting, some students spoke of their treatment by Thornberry, including one who asked school officials, “How can you respect someone who puts their hand down your pants?”

That boy eventually told police Thornberry fondled him after first taking him to a part of the building beyond the view of surveillance cameras. A second boy told authorities he fought off a molestation attempt by Thornberry that made the student feel “disgusting and meaningless.” Officials are trying to locate at least one other boy who also may have been molested by Thornberry since December 2014, four months after the school hired Thornberry, according to the charges.

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