EPD: Preschool teacher facing child molestation charges

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Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 9:38 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On August 1, a four-year-old preschool student at Bethel United Church of Christ Preschool was with her mother, recounting her school day.

That was when things took a turn according to police and Bethel United Church of Christ Lead Pastor Sam Buehrer.

“We got a call from a parent on Monday evening, saying her child came home saying something that sounded... awkward,” says Buehrer.

The affidavit describes the child recounting to her mother multiple accounts of sexual abuse allegedly from her teacher, 20-year-old Joshua Leduc.

Joshua Leduc
Joshua Leduc(Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office)

Leduc had been a teacher at Bethel United Church of Christ Preschool for nearly two years.

The child’s mother recorded their conversation, and then took it to the school.

School officials say there are cameras in every classroom, and the school director immediately sat down and reviewed the footage with the mom.

“They called the teacher in, confronted the teacher with what they thought they saw and what was said. Of course, the teacher denied it,” says Buehrer.

While Leduc denied the allegations at the time, he was immediately fired and asked to leave.

Right after, the school director filed a report with DCS and alerted police.

Buehrer says the incident has left a scar on the preschool program, and it’s impacted him and the staff on a personal level.

“As we do with all of our teachers, we watch very closely for some time, and he had been a very good teacher, so there was no indication that there was anything like this would ever happen,” says Buehrer.

Buehrer says each of their teachers receive Federal background checks, and in his own words, they were keeping a closer eye on Leduc than other teachers during his first year.

He says it’s not often that men want to be in that specific teaching position, but he had proven himself to be a model teacher. Now, they’re left with a mix of emotions.

“Shocked would be one word, devastated, felt betrayed, because he broke a lot of trust for all of us,” says Buehrer.

Buehrer says the congregation is aware of what happened, as well as each parent that has a child in the preschool.

Now, their goal moving forward is to improve their program as a whole, and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

The Evansville Police Department says Leduc was arrested after the victim and her mother reported the incident to Holly’s House.

Leduc posted a bond of $1,500 and was released.

Leduc is in court on August 10 for his initial hearing.

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