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Pa. principal arrested for inappropriate relationship with minor

WESTTOWN, Pa. -- The principal of a private school west of Philadelphia was arrested on charges he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl reported CBS Philly.

George James Symonds, 62, of Wilmington was the Head of School and a teacher at the Concept School in Thornbury Township. According to the station, he was arrested on Friday July 3, 2015 after an investigation into his relationship with a student at the school. Symonds was charged with exchanging sexually explicit text messages, emails, and phone calls with the teenage girl.

Officials say the victim was between 14 and 15 years old when the incidents occurred, and also say that Symonds and the girl communicated daily. Allegedly, Symonds told the girl he loved her, invited her to meet in the bathroom and "hug" on numerous occasions and would tell the girl "not to fight the love," the station reported. According to CBS Philly, Symonds also allegedly cupped the victim's buttocks with his hands, "taught the victim how to masturbate," and urged her to delete all electronic communications between the two and not to tell anyone of their relationship because he knew he could go to jail if people found out.

"This defendant is every parent's nightmare. Sexual predators try to find a way to get access to children. Unfortunately, a Head of School is in a prime position to exercise control over and manipulate children. Children should be safe at school, not subject to sexual abuse by somebody who is in a position of trust," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan told the station.

Officials say Symonds was a teacher at the school beginning in 2004 and became "Head of School," which is equivalent to principal, in 2012. Previously, he taught at schools in Massachusetts and Delaware County, Pa.

Symonds has since been terminated from his position at the school.

Anyone with information in the case should call Westtown-East Goshen police at 610-692-9600.

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