Substitute teacher arrested on child molesting charge

A Brownstown man working as a substitute teacher for Seymour Community Schools is facing a charge of child molesting.

Seymour police arrested Clayton Jon Hall, 42, Wednesday afternoon at his residence following an investigation into a complaint of “inappropriate actions” between an adult and a student at Cortland Elementary School, Chief Bill Abbott said Friday.

On Tuesday, school resource officer Keith Williams was notified by Cortland Principal Lori Lister of a complaint from a parent about “inappropriate” interactions involving a teacher and a child, Abbott said.

Because the case is still under investigation, Abbott declined to give details about what took place but said child molesting can include different types of conduct, which may or may not involve touching.

Abbott would not give the age of the victim or say if there was more than one child involved in the incident.

Williams was able to obtain a warrant from Jackson Superior Court II Judge Bruce MacTavish to search Hall and his residence Wednesday, Abbott said.

“They were looking for any electronic media with storage capabilities,” he said.

Police were working to obtain another warrant to search the electronic devices seized from the residence for evidence of child pornography, Abbott said.

“In these types of investigations, we have learned that there is usually a pattern of history to these types of crimes — data, Internet searches and files,” he said.

Hall has yet to make his initial court appearance and is being held without bond at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown. He currently faces one count of child molesting, a Level 4 felony, but Abbott said that could change as the investigation progresses.

“Once we process everything and take it to the prosecutor’s office, it will be up to them to determine what charges are brought against him,” Abbott said.

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty, however, he said.

“We are still in the early stages of this investigation, and we want to let the facts make the case, not accusations and opinions on Facebook and social media,” he said.

Hall has worked in other schools in the Seymour school district, but Abbott said he is not aware of any other complaints.

“I encourage parents to talk to their children and to make them aware of ‘good touch, bad touch,’” he said. “It’s important to have that open line of communication with kids.”

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.