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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Waynesboro High School Teacher Charged with Aggravated Sexual Battery of a Minor in Augusta County

Written by: Sam Orlando

WAYNESBORO, VIRGINIA — The arrest of Joseph Emmanuel Trust, a Spanish teacher at Waynesboro High School, on charges of aggravated sexual battery has stirred controversy and concern among parents and community members in Augusta County and the City of Waynesboro.

Teacher Arrested, Charged with Aggravated Sexual Battery

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office announced late Wednesday night that Trust, 38, from Stuarts Draft, was taken into custody without incident and is currently being held at Middle River Regional Jail. The arrest follows an investigation initiated on April 15 by the Sheriff’s Office and Shenandoah Valley Child Protective Services, focusing on allegations involving a female child under the age of thirteen.

No Mention of Trust's Teacher Position in Press Release

While the Sheriff's media release detailed the ongoing investigation and arrest, it conspicuously omitted Trust's role as an educator at Waynesboro High School, where he taught until his arrest. Sources have confirmed reports that the arrest occurred on school premises.

Did Waynesboro Know About Charges and Permit Teacher Access to Students?

The critical question becomes when did Waynesboro School officials become aware of Trust's pending arrest? Did they know he was going to be arrested and still permit him to teach students yesterday, or did Augusta County not share the critical allegations with Waynesboro, where Trust is employed as a teacher? Breaking Through News is continuing to work to verify whether or not Waynesboro officials knew about the arrest, and how long before the arrest they became aware that one of their teachers had been charged with Aggravated Sexual Battery.

The lack of transparency from both law enforcement and the school district regarding Trust’s professional standing and the circumstances of his arrest has raised questions about the flow of critical information to the public.

Waynesboro High School Email Mentions Teacher Change, Not Charges

Adding to the community's concern, Waynesboro High School Principal Bryan Stamm sent out an email to parents at 4:28PM on Wednesday, shortly before the arrest, informing them of Trust's indefinite absence from teaching duties. The email assured parents of the school's commitment to continuing Spanish education but failed to mention the arrest or the nature of the charges against Trust. Several parents and students forwarded the email to Breaking Through News, citing concerns over what they see as a lack of transparency in the notification to parents.

The press release from the Augusta County Sheriff was also light on details, not mentioning Trust's role as a teacher. One parent, whose son attends Trust's Spanish class and who asked we not print her name for fear of reprisals, claims that the Sheriff and High School officials "dropped the ball on keeping parents informed and students safe".

Breaking Through News has not verified any of the allegations contained in the charging documents, and this report about the allegations against Trust is based solely on the documents provided publicly by the Sheriff, and his press release. Trust has been charged and is being held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Stay with Breaking Through News as we continue to cover this developing case.

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