July 30, 2021 20:31

Teacher’s aide at school for special needs students facing multiple charges for sex with student

Jennilynne M. Derolf. Image credit: Falls Township police

Vinny Vella

The Philadelphia Inquirer

A teacher’s aide at a Bucks County school for children with developmental and emotional issues has been charged with having sex with one of her students.

Jennilynne Derolf, 38, of Levittown, was charged Friday with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, and related offenses, prosecutors said. She remained in custody with bail set at $90,000. There was no indication Sunday that she had hired a lawyer.

Derolf worked as a teacher’s aide at Valley Day School in Falls Township, an institution that caters to special-needs students. During her time there, she befriended a 14-year-old boy, and began messaging him through Discord, a social-media application, according to the affidavit of probable cause for her arrest.

The boy’s grandparents discovered he was having “a romantic relationship” with Derolf and notified police on July 13, the affidavit said.

In an interview, the boy told detectives that what began as friendly chatting between the two led to in-person visits to places in Lower Bucks County, including Levittown Lake and Falls Township Park. Starting in June, Derolf initiated intimate contact with the boy, and investigators learned the two had sex at least three times inside her vehicle in the weeks before her arrest, the affidavit said.

District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, in a statement, called Derolf’s behavior “not only reprehensible, but criminal.”

“She not only violated the trust required in any student-teacher relationship, but also that trust that children should be able to have in all adults of authority,” Weintraub said. “She will be held accountable for her criminal acts.”

Derolf is scheduled to appear Wednesday in front of a magisterial district judge for a preliminary hearing.

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