MORRISTOWN, NJ - Former Roxbury High School Assistant Principal Roger Schneider will not serve time behind bars for engaging in a form of horseplay, with a 15-year-old boy, that included slapping the youth's testicles with the back of his hand, according to a newspaper report.
Schneider, who pleaded guilty in October to one count of child abuse, was sentenced Friday to a year of probation, 25 hours of community service and 30 hours in the Morris County Sheriff's Office Labor Assistance Program, according to the Morristown Daily Record, which covers Superior Court in Morristown. The sentence was imposed by Superior Court Judge Catherine Enright,who rejected the county prosecutor's request for a year in jail, said the paper.
Schneider, 57, a former Clifton police officer and Haledon teacher, was arrested in April 2015. At the time, he had been assistant principal at the high school for about eight months and he was also serving on the Morris Hills Regional Board of Education. Schneider, of Rockaway Township, was later indicted on one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
He pleaded guilty in October to one count of child abuse. During the plea session, Schneider said he and the teenager - who lived with him temporarily - often wrestled and engaged in other forms of horseplay that would at times include "sack tapping," wherein they would try to slap each other’s testicles with the backs of their hands.
When Schneider was arrested, the prosecutor’s office said the man was acting as a stand-in parent, or “in loco parentis,” to the victim, an arrangement condoned by the boy’s parents. The teen was not a Roxbury student.
Although Schneider downplayed the behavior, while expressing remorse, the boy wrote to the judge and said, "The man I looked up to had become a monster," according to the newspaper. "At first I thought about just keeping quiet and continuing my life as though that point in my life hadn't occurred. But that kept me up at night. It began to eat away at me and I couldn't continue like that."