Kindergarten teacher accused of indecent exposure, child abuse - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mesa kindergarten teacher accused of child abuse

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Thomas Washburn Thomas Washburn
MESA, Ariz. -

A Mesa kindergarten teacher accused of pulling the shirt off a 6-year-old student in class has been released from jail on his own recognizance.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 54-year-old Thomas Washburn had his initial court appearance Friday and was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet for electronic monitoring.

Washburn doesn't have a lawyer yet.

According to the police report, 54-year-old Thomas Washburn, a teacher at Adams Elementary School in Mesa, told the 6-year-old girl's mother that she wasn't looking at him and was hiding her head in her shirt.

Washburn then allegedly took off the girl's shirt and didn't give it back to her for five to 10 minutes. The incident happened in front of 24 other students.

The little girl told police other students were laughing at her while she was standing half naked and crying.

A police report reveals a teacher's aide was also in the room at the time of the incident. She said she didn't see Washburn take off the girl's shirt, but saw her after it was removed.

The aide stated that throughout the day several students were covering their faces with their shirts and Washburn told them to stop or he was going to take their shirts.

After Washburn allegedly took off the girl's shirt, a police report says he told the rest of the class how it was important that they wear their clothing properly.

According to the girl's mother, the 6-year-old is developmentally delayed because she was born prematurely. A police report shows the girl's academic and social skills are suffering and is concerned this incident will have a negative effect on her emotionally.

Washburn faces charges, including 25 counts of indecent exposure and one count of child abuse.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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