A special education teacher at a small elementary school in Burlington County has been charged for allegedly sexually touching seven students over several years.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office says 58-year-old Vincent Root of Philadelphia, who teaches at Chatsworth Elementary School, was arrested Thursday morning and is being held in the county jail.

INFO: Chatsworth, population around 900, is in Woodland Township and is known as the "Capital of the Pine Barrens."

Root has been charged with the following:

  • 7 counts of second-degree sexual assault
  • 7 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child
Chatsworth Elementary School - Photo: Google Maps
Chatsworth Elementary School - Photo: Google Maps

Several students over several years

Authorities say an investigation began last month after a student came forward and accused Root of touching him inappropriately during previous school years.

The investigation revealed that the victims, all of whom are male, were touched in classrooms inside the school building. The investigation further revealed that the abuse occurred over a multi-year period.

The names, ages, and further details about the victims are being withheld in an attempt to protect the identity of the victims.

Woodland Township School District officials said Root has been placed on administrative leave and has been banned from school property.

Help investigators

Anyone with information concerning Root or other possible victims is asked to contact the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office at (609) 265-5035 and ask to speak to a detective in the Special Victims Unit.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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