All evidence gathered by the prosecution in the case of a former Titusville teacher accused of raping a child will move forward to trial.
Crawford County Judge John Spataro denied all suppression motions in the case of Rochelle Cressman, 32, in an omnibus hearing held Wednesday. Cressman is facing charges for allegedly raping a 14-year-old boy several times from Sept. 13, 2018, to April 18 of this year.
Assistant District Attorney Paula DiGiacomo, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the county, said that the defense attempted to have some pieces of evidence withdrawn from the trial. The Herald attempted to obtain a court filing on Wednesday to show which specific pieces of evidence where in question, but the Crawford County Clerk of Courts did not have the paper work yet.
Omnibus hearings are a form of pretrial hearing which deals with a variety of matters, including motions, ensuring the rights of the accused and discovery of evidence.
Cressman was charged on May 6 with more than 20 felony counts by Corry-based State Police for her alleged statutory rape of the boy. Law enforcement officials were informed of the alleged sexual assaults by the victim’s mother, was in turn told about the incidents by her son.
According to the affidavit, Cressman had sex with the victim at least 10 times. She is additionally accused of other forms of sexual contact, including oral sex and inappropriate touching. These incidents reportedly took place in multiple locations, including a residence on Springcreek Road in Oil Creek Township, and a residence on North Martin Street in Titusville.
Cressman is also accused of threatening to harm herself or the victim on multiple occasions if he ever told anyone of their sexual contact.
At the time of her arrest, Cressman was working as a physical education teacher at Titusville Middle School, though had not performed any duties within the district since April 12 due to taking time off for personal reasons. Before her tenure at the middle school, Cressman worked at Titusville High School in the same role, after being hired in 2009.
Cressman resigned from the school district following her arrest. Her resignation was accepted by the Titusville Area School Board at their May 20 meeting.
The school district was not informed of the charges against Cressman until May 8, only a day before the details were then sent out to media outlets.
Cressman is facing 10 counts of statutory sexual assault, all felony 1 charges with a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment and fines of $25,000 each; 10 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, also felony 1 charges; one count of unlawful contact with a minor, another felony 1 charge; one count of endangering the welfare of children, a felony 3 offense with a maximum possible sentence of seven years imprisonment and a fine of $15,000; one count of corruption of minors, another felony 3 charge; one count of terroristic threats, a misdemeanor 1 charge with a maximum possible sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000; and 42 counts of indecent assault, misdemeanor 2 charges which each carry a maximum possible sentence of two years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000.
If convicted of all charges, Cressman faces a combined maximum possible sentence of 523 years imprisonment and fines totaling $775,000. Her court case is scheduled to occur in the January term of court.
Cressman waived all charges against her to court in a preliminary hearing held before Magisterial District Judge Amy Nicols, of Titusville, on June 25.
Ray can be reached, by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.