SALEM, Ore. June 16 2017-- A longtime Salem-Keizer teacher is facing 15 counts of child sexual abuse involving inappropriate contact with a former student, according to officials.
Shane Ross, 40, of Turner was arrested by Salem Police Detectives who believe he sexually assaulted a former student over the course of several years. Ross is listed as a physical education specialist at Englewood Elementary School in Salem where he has taught since 2012.
The school district said Wednesday that Ross has been on paid leave from Englewood since March. A letter about the case was sent home to Englewood parents Wednesday, according to Jay Remy, district communications director.
Previous to joining the Englewood staff, Ross taught physical education and computer classes at Houck and Parrish middle schools as well as Schirle and Rosedale elementary schools. He has been employed by the Salem-Keizer district since 2000.
Parents who knew Ross were shocked when they heard the allegations.
"Great guy, I never would have thought anything of it in a million years," said Donna Lapastora. "He was great with the kids, worked will with all the children. Very surprising."
"I was shocked," said Mandy Zeek. "He's not only one of the parents' favorites, he's one of the teachers' favorites and kids' favorites."
He is facing five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, nine counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of second-degree unlawful sexual penetration, according to Salem Police Department.
Investigators said there may be additional victims and ask anyone with information regarding any concerning or inappropriate contact involving Ross to contact the Salem Police Department Tip Line at 503-588-8477.
Police said the Salem-Keizer School District cooperated with Salem Police Department's investigation.
First-degree sexual abuse and second-degree unlawful sexual penetration are Measure 11 offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences of 75 months in prison.