Former Green Bay teacher charged with sexual assault of a student

Jer Lovaj (Brown Co. Jail)
Jer Lovaj (Brown Co. Jail)

GREEN BAY - A former teacher at a Green Bay elementary school is accused of sexually assaulting one of his students.

Now, 57-year-old Jer Lovaj is facing criminal charges. Lovaj worked at Sullivan Elementary School.

Police say he inappropriately touched and kissed an eight-year-old girl on multiple occasions.

The Green Bay Area Public School District says it's shocked a long-time employee has been charged with sexual assault of a child.

"I think it's very troubling when this information comes forward, to everyone,” said district spokesperson Lori Blakeslee.

Court documents show the girl told two of her teachers at Sullivan Elementary in February about the alleged incidents. She said her English as a Second Language teacher Jer Lovaj "had been kissing her, hugging her, and touched her."

As the law requires, the teachers then reported what they had been told.

“Once the mandatory reporter had reported the incident, Jer was then suspended,” said Blakeslee. “That happened on Feb. 13.”

The girl says Lovaj touched her two different times. It allegedly happened in his ESL classroom.

Lovaj had worked in the district since 1996, previously at Howe, Fort Howard, and Langlade schools. He has been at Sullivan Elementary since 2010.

The district says he has no prior issues and had cleared a background check.

Lavaj's attorney, Peter Heyne, told us he can't comment on the case.

As soon as charges were filed, the district says it quickly moved to notify parents.

“Monday morning we had sent a robo call to parents that Jer had been arrested and that he was no longer in school,” said Blakeslee.

Some parents picking up their children at Sullivan Tuesday do not think the school district is to blame.

“As parents, we teach our kids stranger danger and inappropriate touch when they're growing up. I can't blame the school, or the entire school, for one incident with a bad teacher,” said Tasha Santiago.

Lovaj is held on a $50,000 bond. His next court date is next Tuesday.