Germantown Academy teacher arrested on charges involving sexual relationship with student

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher P. Ward announced today the arrest of 37-year-old Michael Cheatle of Chester Springs on charges of Institutional Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact With a Minor/Sexual Offenses, Corruption of a Minor, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child-related to a sexual relationship with a female student at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington (Whitemarsh Township), where the defendant was employed as a teacher.

The investigation began on July 29th when the victim made a report to the Whitemarsh Township Police. The investigation determined that in 2014 at the end of her 11th-grade year at the private school, Cheatle engaged in sexual behavior with the minor student both inside and outside of school over an 18-month period. Investigator determined this through text messages, emails, and other evidence. Cheatle resigned from his teaching position at the school on September 1st. According to the notice, Germantown Academy officials fully cooperated with the investigation.

Cheatle was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Deborah Lukens, who set bail at $100,000 unsecured, along with the condition that the defendant not have any contact with children other than his own. Cheatle was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Oct. 14, 2020, before Judge Lukens.

Anyone with information regarding any inappropriate encounters with the defendant is encouraged to contact Whitemarsh Township Police at (610) 825-6530.