Former principal of Plymouth elementary school is fourth person accused of failing to report sexual assault allegations by then-teacher

Published on Friday, 26 August 2022 14:54


PLYMOUTH – The former principal at Plymouth Center School has been accused of knowing about allegations of sexual abuse committed by a teacher and doing nothing about it.

Chrystal Collins, 59, of Bristol, turned herself in on Friday to Plymouth police on 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, with an arraignment date of Sept. 12 in New Britain Superior Court. 

Collins is the fourth person associated with Plymouth Center School to face a criminal charge related to the alleged failure to report accusations against James Eschert, 51, who faces five felony counts of risk of injury to a minor and two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. 

The 51-year-old, who has pleaded not guilty, allegedly fondled and caressed some of his female students and touched himself over his clothes in the presence of minors, according to police reports.

The allegations came to light last year when a former student gave a note to an administrator, detailing some of the accusations. During the investigation, police found evidence that suggested multiple individuals knew about Eschert’s alleged behavior and never reported it to the proper authorities. 

Collins is the fourth former or current school employee to be accused of violating the state’s mandated reporter laws. She retired as the school’s principal in 2019.

Earlier this week, Sherri Turner, 59, of Farmington, Melissa Morelli, 45, of Plymouth, and Rebecca Holleran, 47, of Bristol, were charged with the same offense as Collins. 

According to school officials, all of those who have been charged, with the exception of Collins and Eschert, remain with the school district. They were placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plymouth, Terryville on Friday, 26 August 2022 14:54. Updated: Friday, 26 August 2022 14:57.