Ex-Heritage band director charged with child seduction, child porn possession

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The former band director at Heritage Junior/Senior High School has been accused of fondling a student and ordering her to send him naked pictures, according to court records.

Josiah D. Pfenning, 31, of Fort Wayne was charged Thursday in Allen Superior Court with Child Seduction and Possession of Child Pornography, both Level 6 felonies.

Josiah Pfenning

According to a probable cause affidavit, police met with the girl in September after she claimed she’d been sexually abused and assaulted by her high school band director, Pfenning. The girl said their relationship started out “with a hug,” but “transitioned to kisses on the cheek and then eventually into an ‘actual kiss,'” the affidavit said.

From there, the girl said Pfenning asked her if kissing “could be our thing,” the affidavit said. She said “it” typically happened in Pfenning’s office or the band room or storage room.

The kissing progressed to touching and got “worse and worse,” the girl said, and Pfenning began touching her inappropriately, according to the affidavit. The girl said Pfenning fondled her.

Pfenning told the girl he loved her and promised they could do “a whole lot more” once she turned 18, the affidavit detailed.

The girl said the acts had taken place from April through September, the affidavit said.

The girl also said Pfenning asked her for naked pictures “because it would make him happy,” the affidavit said.

Pfenning told the girl to not to say anything because he would “be put away for a very long time,” according to the affidavit. He also told her to delete their conversations, the girl said.

Witnesses told investigators Pfenning and the girl had been “play flirting” and it was considered “awkward and weird,” the affidavit said.

Pfenning was arrested Thursday.

East Allen County Schools said in August that Pfenning was no longer employed by the district after an investigation into “misconduct.” EACS says they have cooperated fully with authorities and will continue to do so going forward, adding, “the safety and wellbeing of our students remains our highest priority.”

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