BUTLER COUNTY, Pennsylvania — Channel 11 has an exclusive to question a former school security guard as he leaves courtroom on Tuesday after he was accused of sexually assaulting a Seneca Valley student on the school campus during school hours. I had a great opportunity.
Matthew Cowan said nothing after facing his accuser in court.
Cowan was a security guard for Securitas Security Services, a private security firm contracted by the Seneca Valley School District.
The Jackson Township police chief said it all started when police in Cranberry Township received reports of a social media exchange between a 17-year-old student and Cowan for months.
Jackson Township Police Chief Terry Saylehammer said: “Apparently the suspect traded alcohol and marijuana for nude photos with the victim.
An investigation led police to charges of assault on the Seneca High School campus.
The victim testified that she contacted Cowan via Snapchat after being unable to find a class at the beginning of last school year, and Cowan told her to meet him near the baseball field.
Cowan then allegedly kissed and touched her and pressed her against a tree to suffocate her. The victim told him no, but she said he continued to sexually assault her for about 10 minutes.
Community members are shocked.
’ That’s totally inappropriate. I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes,” said Jasmine Swift.
The chief explained why the indictment took so long.
“It contained a lot of search warrants, including cell phone records. “We turned to the FBI,” said the Seneca Valley School District, which terminated its contract with the security firm last year and hired another.
The school also said it would seek confirmation that all security guards have the necessary clearances, including a child abuse clearance.
Channel 11 has contacted the security company and is awaiting a response.
“He’s a good guy,” Cowan’s attorney, Al Lindsay, said after the court appearance. “We are sorry that this happened to him. We are very committed to protecting him.”
All charges were filed in court, and strangulation charges were added.
The police chief said an investigation was underway to see if there were any other victims.
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