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Monday, October 17, 2016

Merrimack teacher charged with soliciting nude photos of student

By DEAN SHALHOUP

Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – A community Facebook account Monday afternoon buzzed with a wide range of comments as parents and other residents learned of the arrest of veteran Merrimack High School English teacher Todd Wiley on charges related to the solicitation of naked photos from a 16-year-old female student.

Swinging from praise of Wiley as a “great” and “respected” teacher to outrage over his alleged conduct, the comments flowed in reaction to a notification some parents received from the school district as well as news outlets’ reports based on a police press release sent out around 3 p.m. Monday. ...

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MERRIMACK – A community Facebook account Monday afternoon buzzed with a wide range of comments as parents and other residents learned of the arrest of veteran Merrimack High School English teacher Todd Wiley on charges related to the solicitation of naked photos from a 16-year-old female student.

Swinging from praise of Wiley as a “great” and “respected” teacher to outrage over his alleged conduct, the comments flowed in reaction to a notification some parents received from the school district as well as news outlets’ reports based on a police press release sent out around 3 p.m. Monday.

Police said the 63-year-old Wiley, whose full name is Robert Todd Wiley, turned himself in earlier in the day on a warrant that “stemmed from a thorough investigation” into allegations he had “solicited naked photos of the victim ... and supplied images and videos to the victim of himself manipulating his genitals,” according to police.

Wiley, who lives at 14 Mayflower Drive in Milford, was booked Monday on one felony count of criminal solicitation to the manufacturing of child abuse images, along with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, which are Class A misdemeanors.

He was later released on $20,000 cash bail, and is scheduled to appear in Merrimack district court for arraignment on Dec. 1.

Merrimack police Lt. Denise Roy said Monday that Wiley is no longer employed by the school district and that she believes he put in for retirement effective Oct. 13.

District Superintendent Marge Chiafery couldn’t immediately be reached Monday for confirmation of Wiley’s status.

Among those lamenting the news about Wiley was Jen Francazio, a 2003 MHS graduate who called Wiley “a meaningful presence” during her years at the school.

“Students looked up to Mr. Wiley. It was always my impression that he respected his students completely,” Francazio said Monday.

“To find out otherwise is both shocking and deeply disappointing.”

Police said Monday that members of the department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau launched the investigation roughly two weeks ago after police “received information regarding a teacher at Merrimack High School ... Robert Todd Wiley,” according to the press release.

Detectives learned during the investigation that Wiley had allegedly “been meeting, and conversing with, a (16-year-old female) who was also found to be Wiley’s student.”

Police said detectives determined that Wiley allegedly solicited the naked photos and sent the images of himself “on several occasions.”

Roy, the Merrimack lieutenant, said Monday afternoon that the parents of the alleged victim brought the allegations to police about two weeks ago.

The girl is the only known victim at this point, Roy said, but the police investigation is still open and active.

“I would never presume that there are no more victims,” Roy said in reference to the continuing investigation.

“We use (incidents such as Wiley’s arrest) as an opportunity to encourage parents to talk with their kids – not necessarily about Mr. Wiley specifically, but in general,” Roy said, referring to kids’ ability to recognize and report inappropriate behavior by adults.

“If anyone does have any information on this, we do encourage them to come forward,” Roy said of the Wiley investigation.

She also urged parents to contact her if they have any questions about “how to talk to your children about sexual abuse,” by calling the department at 424-3774 and asking for Roy.

More information on discussing, recognizing or reporting child abuse can be found on the state Child Advocacy Center’s website, www.cac-nh.org under the “resources” link.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or@Telegraph_DeanS.


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