Court docs: School got complaint last year about teacher now accused of molestation

Kent County

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Court records describe a Forest Hills middle school teacher who now faces prison time for criminal sexual conduct as a “touchy person.”

John Patrick Moglia, 55, of Lowell, was arraigned Wednesday on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carry up to two years in prison.

The Forest Hills Public Schools website lists Moglia as an art and yearbook teacher at Forest Hills Central Middle School. He also taught driver’s education this summer.

Court records associated with the criminal charges show the mother of a 14-year-old contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department in June to report an assault by Moglia. 

The teen said Moglia “rubbed the small of her back and inner thigh” and groped her after asking the teen to take photos at a sporting event. 

“…he placed the camera around her neck and in doing so grabbed her breasts,” the document said. 

Through the course of the June investigation, a detective learned a complaint was made against Moglia in the fall of last year. That allegation involved a second female student, also 14. The teen’s mother filed the complaint with the school district and agreed to speak with the detective handling the latest allegation.

The teen told an investigator Moglia “was a touchy person” and while she was his student “she was sitting on a tall chair in his classroom when Mr. Moglia walked up and squeezed her thigh with his hand,” the court document read. 

“As Mr. Moglia did this he asked if she was ticklish and squeezed her thigh again,” it continues.

The probable cause narrative ends by noting both teens reported their experiences to school administration. On Wednesday, the school district said findings from the fall 2019 allegation have been turned over as part of the criminal investigation.

FHPS also confirmed Moglia is on administrative leave and the district is conducting its own independent investigation.

A judge set a $1,000 bond Wednesday afternoon and conditions that Moglia not have contact with the alleged victims, their families or other teens outside his own family if he posts bond and is released from jail.

The sheriff’s office is asking any additional victims to call Detective Kailey Gilbert at 616.632.6125. 

The district told News 8 it “take(s) these allegations very seriously.”

“Forest Hills Public School District’s highest priority is the physical and emotional safety of our students,” a Wednesday statement reads. “When the district became aware of student concerns regarding Mr. Moglia, we initiated an internal investigation and have been working cooperatively with the Kent County Sheriff’s department on their investigation. We strongly encourage anyone who may have additional information to reach out to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.”

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