Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Evansville Council Candidate Admits Having Sex With Male Student Decades Ago

Jack Schriber
A Republican at-large candidate for the Evansville City Council, Jack Schriber, admits he engaged in sexual relations with a male student decades ago when he was an English teacher at Evansville's Central High School. Schriber, now 70 and retired from his former teaching job, tells the Evansville Courier & Press the relationship with the student was consensual. The former male student told a different story to Evansville police. He says Schriber coerced him into a nonconsensual sexual relationship when he was between the ages of 15 and 17.

The victim told police he met Schriber through his activities in the music and theater departments during middle school and high school. The victim came forward with the decades' old allegations in July after he learned Schriber was running for city council. The victim told police that Schriber never threatened or forced him to have sex with him, but he felt he would suffer penalties to his academic and school activities if he didn't continue the relationship with Schriber.

Police released a letter Schriber had recently written to the victim, who is now married with children, in which he accepted responsibility for blurring the lines between teacher and student. Schriber asked his former student to accept his apology for his actions. Schriber blamed his inappropriate relationship with a student on mental health issues he had following his service in the Vietnam War and public prejudices against same-sex attractions. "[I]t was shameful, and you didn't want people to know." Schriber admitted to police he had engaged in sexual relations with students other than this one victim. Schriber said he stopped having sex with students about 20 years ago after he went into therapy to treat his mental health issues. The Courier & Press offered more details of the police investigation:
"Schriber began to tell me that he had a lot of students over at his home at that time because times were different," Turpin reported. "I asked why he thought this happened and Schriber told me that he thought this had occurred due to a lot of confusion he had. I asked what the confusion was about, and he said he had gone into training to be a Green Beret and was shot during the Vietnam War. I asked where it was and he said a bullet grazed his leg. He said he didn't know if he had killed people over there because so much had been blocked out.
"Schriber said that he also was confused because at that time there was no support for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community like there is now."
In his report, Turpin said Schriber compared it to being a pregnant teenager at the time, and that Schriber said, "...it was shameful and you didn't want people to know."
"I asked Schriber how long this had gone on with students and he said it stopped years ago," Turpin wrote. "I asked what made it stop and he said about 20 years ago he began working at the Evansville Children's Psychiatric Center. Schriber said that he realized he had a problem and that he went into five years of intense therapy."
When Turpin asked Schriber what the therapy was for, Turpin said Schriber replied it was for things he suppressed from Vietnam, having an autistic grandson, and for his sexuality, according to the police report.
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office closed the file on the investigation of Schriber after it determined the statute of limitations had run on his past crimes. "What they sent to us, we determined it exceeded the statute of limitations," Hermann said. He noted that the statute of limitations is five years. Schriber, who retired from the school in 1970, is currently employed as an adjunct professor of communications at the University of Southern Indiana. Schriber announced hours after news reports aired today that he was abandoning his campaign for an at-large seat on the Evansville City Council. Due to the late date of his withdrawal, Republicans are not able to replace him with another candidate on the ballot for an election where early voting has already commenced.

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