It started with an investigation into “some off-colored remarks” to a student.
That was in late-February when New York State Police had just taken over an investigation into remarks made by a teacher, now identified as David A. Rautenberg, 44, of Liverpool.
The district investigated the matter and it was turned over to State Police in short order.
Rautenberg, who has 14 years of experience as a teacher at Waterloo was placed on leave when the district started the investigation.
In a letter to parents, Waterloo High School Principal Susan Burgess advised at the time that no student was “physically harmed.”
On Tuesday, Rautenberg was arrested after it was determined through the investigation that he engaged in inappropriate conversations with a female student while at the school.
Rautenberg was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor and was released on an appearance ticket for Waterloo Village Court.
He has been employed by the Waterloo Central School District for approximately 14 years and had previously been placed on administrative leave by the district pending the results of the investigation.
In a statement, Terri Bavis, Waterloo Central School District Superintendent said the following:
“As we understand it, the charges, although serious in nature, are merely accusations at this point, and Mr. Rautenberg, like all citizens, is presumed innocent of any criminal offense unless and until he is proven guilty in a court of law. We intend to take all steps necessary to respect Mr. Rautenberg’s rights while, at the same time, taking all prudent steps to ensure the welfare and safety of our staff and students.”
In the statement, the district asks for anyone with information relative to the guilt or innocence of Rautenberg to contact State Police Investigator Anthony DeMarco, who is leading the ongoing criminal investigation.
The district’s full statement can be read below:
The District has been advised that, on March 28, 2017, the New York State Police arrested Mr. David Rautenberg, Waterloo High School Technology Teacher, and charged him with the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, in violation of Section number, 260.10 of the Penal Law. The charge is considered to be a Class A Misdemeanor.
The District has placed Mr. Rautenberg on administrative leave pending further investigation.
The criminal investigation is still ongoing. As of now, the State Police have taken the lead in investigating the matter. The District has been cooperating and will continue to cooperate fully with the State Police, District Attorney’s office and any other agencies that may become involved in the case. The District also has fulfilled and will continue to observe all applicable reporting requirements.
As we understand it, the charges, although serious in nature, are merely accusations at this point, and Mr. Rautenberg, like all citizens, is presumed innocent of any criminal offense unless and until he is proven guilty in a court of law. We intend to take all steps necessary to respect Mr. Rautenberg’s rights while, at the same time, taking all prudent steps to ensure the welfare and safety of our staff and students.
We have not yet been provided with all of the specifics of the criminal charges, and cannot comment further at this time. We would encourage anyone who has evidence relative to Mr. Rautenberg’s guilt or innocence of the criminal charges to share that information with Investigator Mr. Anthony DeMarco of the State Police, who can be reached at (315) 539-3530.