Harper Woods teacher allegedly solicited sexual acts for better grades

Parents believe more students may come forward

By Jermont Terry - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

HARPER WOODS, Mich. - Police said a teacher was working at Harper Woods High School when he offered to raise a student's grade in exchange for sexual acts.

ORIGINAL STORY: Harper Woods High School teacher faces felony charges for immoral purposes with a child

According to authorities, Charles Penn, a 41-year-old Southfield resident, left the district when the investigation started in June and was hired at John R. King Academy in Detroit. 

The Detroit Public Schools Community District placed Penn on leave immediately after his court appearance. A statement from the DPSCD was released Thursday night.

The District received an official notice this evening alerting that a teacher at JR King was charged today with Felony-Accosting a Child for Immoral Purposes while employed at Harper Woods High School in June. The employee has been placed on an immediate administrative leave from the school and will not be interacting with students while the District launches a thorough investigation.

The District takes seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct and will address to the fullest extent possible.

Penn taught economics at Harper Woods High School at the time of the incident. He's facing potential jail time for allegedly telling a 15-year-old girl he would promise she would pass his class if she performed sexual acts on him.

Another student allegedly heard the offer and reported him to authorities. Harper Woods police quickly started an investigation.

Parents of students wonder if this was his first time or if it was his first time getting caught.

"If he was arrested, they're going to find out," one parent said. "All the girls may come out. It might be some boys, too."

Penn was arraigned Thursday and was charged with one count of accosting for immoral purposes. He is expected to return to court on Jan. 2, 2019. Bond was set at $50,000 with conditions.

If convicted, Penn faces four years in prison.

Charles Penn (WDIV)

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