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A former Exeter Senior High School teacher recently charged for allegedly having a sex with a 17-year-old girl he knew through coaching water polo and swimming at Governor Mifflin High School, faces more charges for another alleged sexual relationship with another girl he coached, according to court documents.
Jonathan Bell, 31, Wyomissing, has been charged with seven additional counts of sex crimes for his alleged contact with a girl, now over the age of 18, who was a 15-year-old Governor Mifflin sophomore at the time she and Bell had a sexual encounter in 2003. Detectives allege Bell suggested the two play strip poker, which led to them having sex, according to court documents.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim contacted Berks County Detectives Aug. 8, a day after Bell was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old girl from December 2010 through May 2011. The victim told detectives the encounter with Bell occurred when she was 15 years old and Bell was either 22 or 23. The victim told detectives Bell was one of her coaches for water polo and swimming at Governor Mifflin High School at the time.
The arrest affidavit indicates Bell had coached the victim prior to knowing her at the high school, including coaching her during summer swimming. Additionally, the victim told detectives she knew Bell and his family “for years.”
The victim told detectives she was having a text conversation with Bell one day in October 2003 when she said she was “upset and needed to get out of her house,” according to the affidavit. She told detectives she contacted Bell because “he was always good at making her feel better about herself.” Bell told the victim he would pick her up and they would go back to his parents’ house where they would “just play cards and hang out.”
The victim said she and Bell did go to his parents’ house, which investigators confirmed was in Cumru Township, where they first played card games. At one point, Bell suggested they play strip poker and, although the victim said she was “unsure about what is going on,” she played along. When she lost, she had to take her shirt off, and that’s when Bell removed her bra and began touching her.
Court papers indicate Bell told the girl “how beautiful she looks,” “how pretty she is, and he adds she looks really nice.” Then, the girl told detectives, Bell began touching her, kissing her and they ended up on his bed. The victim said they had sex and after the encounter Bell drove her home.
Bell is charged with one count of statutory sexual assault, one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, one count of sexual assault, one count of aggravated indecent assault, one count of indecent assault, one count of indecent exposure and one count of corruption of minors. He was awaiting arraignment Thursday night.
Bell was charged Aug. 7 with similar offenses. The victim in that case told investigators she also knew Bell for years and felt comfortable talking to him. She said they talked about photography and problems she had with her then-boyfriend.
According to detectives, the victim said the conversation turned to sex within two or three days before Bell invited the student to his house to show her a massage technique for her boyfriend. That’s when the relationship became sexual. Bell’s bail after his arraignment in that case was set at $200,000 cash.
After the charges were filed against Bell Aug. 7, Exeter School District Superintendent Beverly Martin said Bell would be suspended with the intention to fire him. Prior to his arrest, Bell was a high school art teacher.