The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:00 am

Former band director admits to child seduction

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A former band director at Heritage Junior-Senior High School likely won't serve time behind bars after admitting to child seduction.

Josiah Pfenning, 32, pleaded guilty to the felony charge Friday in Allen Superior Court.

If a judge accepts a plea agreement, Pfenning will be placed on probation for five years, with the first two years on house arrest. Sentencing is set for Jan. 13.

Pfenning was charged a year ago with child seduction and possession of child pornography.

A girl told police Pfenning began pursuing her during her junior year of high school when she was 16 and continued throughout the summer and into the first week of school in September 2019.

Pfenning eventually told her he loved her and that when she turned 18, the two could start doing “a whole lot more,” court records said.

The encounters took place in the band director's office, band room and storage room, court records said.

In the meantime, Pfenning asked her to take photos of herself, eventually asking for photos of her without clothing. He told her what to send because “it would make him happy.”

Pfenning always told her not to say anything because he would “be put away for a very long time.” He also told her to make sure she deleted everything, including conversations they had on Instagram, court documents said.

On the Sept. 3, 2019, East Allen County Schools board meeting agenda, Pfenning's name appeared under certified resignations. His resignation had taken place Aug. 22. It was also noted that he'd taught for four years with the school district.

On Aug. 26, 2019, EACS Superintendent Marilyn Hissong sent a letter to parents saying that a teacher at Heritage had engaged in misconduct, that the proper authorities were investigating and that the teacher was no longer employed by the district.

Tamyra Kelly, EACS spokeswoman, said last year that Pfenning passed an expanded criminal history check when he was hired.

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