Wilton teacher suspended after being caught with teen

A Wilton educator charged with endangering a minor and fourth-degree sexual assault has been suspended pending an investigation.

Earlier today, it was reported that Timothy J. Leonard, a Language Arts teacher at Middlebrook Middle School, had been arrested in Trumbull where police found him in the back seat of a car with a 14-year old boy.

Superintendent Kevin Smith said in a letter sent out around 1 this afternoon that Dr. Leonard "has been suspended pending an investigation…"

"This news comes as an incredible shock to our entire school community," Dr. Smith added. "Dr. Leonard has worked in Wilton for many years and had developed a very positive reputation as a teacher. If these allegations are true, Dr. Leonard violated the trust of all in the Wilton Public Schools and throughout our community."

This is the second school district employee to be arrested on sex-related charges in the past 12 months. Eric Von Kohorn, a preschool paraprofessional was arrested in August for possession of child pornography.

Last night

Police found Dr. Leonard, 37, of Southbury and a 14 year-old Trumbull teen sitting in a black Jeep Cherokee, parked in a secluded area off of the cinema parking lot on Quarry Road, around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Police said both Dr. Leonard and the 14-year old boy appeared to be nervous when police approached the vehicle.

“The passenger initially stated he was 18,” police said, “however he appeared much younger and it was later determined that he was a 14 year-old Trumbull resident.”

Police said during the course of speaking to the pair it was determined they had engaged in intimate contact while parked in the vehicle.

Dr. Leonard told police he met the teen on an online dating app and that he likes college aged boys, stating, “that’s my thing.”

Dr. Leonard denied knowing the victim was 14 and said he would not have gotten involved with him if he knew. Dr. Leonard also told police he is a seventh grade teacher in Wilton and teaches at Sacred Heart University.

Dr. Leonard's background

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dr. Leonard taught at Middlebrook Middle School from 1999 to 2006, and from 2010 to the present.

Between 2006 and 2010, he served as assistant principal at Somers Middle School.

He received a Masters degree in education from Sacred Heart, and a Doctorate in Education from Western Connecticut State University.