A choir teacher at Winburn Middle School in Lexington who was put on administrative leave earlier this week following three charges of sexual abuse of minors was arraigned Thursday on a fourth charge, according to court records and a school official.
Thomas C. Steuart, 36, is now facing four counts of sexual abuse, with three of the charges involving a victim under 12 years old, according to court records. Steuart was initially charged with three counts of sexual abuse, but the fourth count was filed on Thursday.
The incidents that the charges stemmed from occurred at his home, according to court documents.
“We take any allegations of this nature very seriously and would never tolerate the kind of behavior that is alleged in these charges,” Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said. “We will take any and all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students. The employee in question has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.”
A group of children would sometimes go to Steuart’s house to swim and watch movies, according to court documents. One of the children under 12 was interviewed by the Children’s Advocacy Center earlier this month and said that he had touched him inappropriately twice while they watched movies, according to court records.
A second child, this one under 16 years old, said in an interview with the Children’s Advocacy Center that he had also been touched inappropriately by Steuart at his house, according to court records. The second child said Steuart had taken him and other children out to eat, after which they returned to his house, swam and then watched a movie, at which point the inappropriate touching occurred, according to court documents.
Steuart has also worked at Georgetown College as a part-time choral director, according to spokesman Jim Allison. He has since been suspended pending further investigation.
Steuart was booked into the Fayette County jail and his bond was set at $30,000, according to court records.