Sacred Heart faculty member arrested with teen

37-year-old who teaches in Wilton says he was unaware boy was underaged

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 3:12 p.m.: A 37-year-old teacher has been suspended from Wilton Public Schools and Sacred Heart University after Trumbull Police caught him in an SUV with a 14-year-old boy.

Dr. Timothy “T.J.” Leonard was suspended by both educational institutions after news of his arrest Tuesday night, Feb. 10, became public.

Police said they determined the two had been engaged in an intimate act.

“This news comes s an incredible shock to our entire school community,” Wilton Schools Supt. Dr. Kevin J. Smith wrote in a letter to parents. “Dr. Leonard has worked in Wilton for many years and had developed a very positive reputation as a teacher. If the allegations are true, Dr. Leonard violated the trust of all in the Wilton Public Schools and throughout our community.”

Smith wrote the Wilton schools are cooperating fully with police, who said their investigation continues.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 10:05 a.m. A man who told police he is a middle school teacher in Wilton and a teacher at Sacred Heart University, has been charged with having a sexual encounter Tuesday with an underage Trumbull male he met through an online dating app.

Police found Timothy Leonard, 37, of Southbury and a 14 year-old Trumbull teen sitting in a black Jeep Cherokee, parked in a secluded area off of the cinema parking lot on Quarry Road, around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Police said both appeared to be nervous when police approached the vehicle.

“The passenger initially stated he was 18,” police said, “however he appeared much younger and it was later determined that he was a 14 year-old Trumbull resident.”

Police said during the course of speaking to the pair it was determined they had engaged in intimate contact while parked in the vehicle.

Leonard told police he met the teen on an online dating app and that he likes college aged boys, stating, “that’s my thing.”

Leonard denied knowing the victim was 14 and said he would not have gotten involved with him if he knew.

Leonard also told police he is a seventh grade teacher in Wilton and teaches at Sacred Heart University. The Wilton schools website lists a Timothy J. Leonard as a language arts teacher, and the Wilton Bulletin has confirmed he is a teacher at Middlebrook School.

Leonard was charged with risk of injury to a minor and sexual assault in the fourth degree. He posted a $10,000 bond. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

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