Third person accused of failing to report alleged sexual abuse committed by Plymouth elementary school teacher

Published on Thursday, 25 August 2022 16:31


PLYMOUTH – A third person has been accused of failing to report allegations that former elementary school teacher James Eschert sexually abused his students.

On Thursday, police said they arrested Rebecca Holleran, 47, of Bristol, and charged her with one count of failure to report abuse, neglect or injury of a child or imminent risk of serious harm to a child.

She is free on a promise to appear and set to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Sept. 12. 

This comes a day after police said they arrested Sherri Turner, 59, of Farmington, and Melissa Morelli, 45, of Plymouth. They each face the same charge as Holleran. 

According to police, Turner, Morelli and Holleran were mandated reporters who failed to report the alleged behavior of Eschert, 51, who taught at Plymouth Center School from 1998 until last year, when it came to light that he had inappropriate contact with several of his female students, police said. 

Current Superintendent of Schools Brian Falcone expressed concern to police during their investigation that Eschert’s alleged actions may have been known about for years and, even worse, covered up.

Falcone also said a total of four current or former school employees are expected to be charged for their alleged failure to report Eschert. Hollern marks the third arrest for accusations of violating the state’s mandated reporter laws.  

Eschert faces five felony counts of risk of injury to a minor and two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

Police allege he fondled and caressed some of his female students, in addition to sometimes touching himself over his clothes in the presence of minors, according to court documents. 

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plymouth, Terryville on Thursday, 25 August 2022 16:31. Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2022 16:33.