by: Frank Field Updated:
SEATTLE - A former private school teacher has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting two of his students.
Police said the victims were first- and second-graders at a private Jewish school in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.
The teacher, Jordan Murray, who was addressed as "rabbi," pleaded not guilty to four counts of child molestation.
Murray, 32, has been a first- and second-grade teacher at Torah Day School the past two school years.
His students called him rabbi as an honorary title, but the president of the small, private K-8 school said Murray has had no formal rabbinical training.
Late last month, one of his first-grade students told her family that Murray had put her on his lap while sitting behind his desk and groped her several times.
Another student, a 7-year-old, reported that he groped her while she stood behind his desk as he was checking her work.
Police said a receptionist at the school has had several children in Murray’s class approach her complaining of stomach aches and anxiety about attending his class. He was fired after the allegations came to light.
Murray ignored reporters’ questions as he walked out of court.
Murray is free on bail, but the judge ordered him to have no contact with any children other than his own, and that must be supervised by their mother. Murray has three children. They live in Minnesota with his wife.