OSSINING, N.Y. - A Somers High School teacher was exposing himself to adult patrons in the Ossining Public Library Thursday night and has been charged with public lewdness, according to police.
Jeffrey Wrightman, 60, of White Plains, has been a teacher at Somers High School since 2003 and police said he admitted to what he was doing when confronted by authorities. He teaches U.S. History but has been placed on administrative leave until further investigation, according to Somers Superintendent Raymond Blanch.
Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester said the department received the call at around 8 p.m. Thursday about the incident.
"It appears that (Wrightman) had removed his genitalia from his pants in an area where it would have been open for other people to see and it was in fact seen by one other patron and it appears from the circumstances surrounding this that the intent was for other people to see what he was doing, or at least that that's a possibility," Sylvester said. He added that there could have been more than one person who saw.
According to police, Wrightman was on the second floor of the library in an open study area. There is a teen area nearby, but no teens were in the room at the time of the incident, police said.
Sylvester said Wrightman does not have a prior criminal record but encouraged anyone who may have had a similar interaction with Wrightman to call police.
"There's always the possibility if it's happened here, it's happened other places," Sylvester said. "We want to ensure that any victim has the opportunity to be heard."
Wrightman was arraigned in Ossining Town Court today, April 27, and was released on $1,000 bail. He is due back in court on Tuesday.
Sylvester is concerned that this may not be the first time Wrightman has done something like this because he's not from Ossining.
"It's always a possibility particularly when you're dealing with a person not from our area and doesn't really have a reason for having been here otherwise," Sylvester said. "Our library is wonderful and we invite patrons from all over the area to come visit, but in this instance it's not clear that this individual had some other purpose to be here other than this."
Sylvester called the incident "disturbing" because Wrightman is a teacher and said the Somers School District has been helpful in dealing with the incident.
"We're grateful to know he's been removed from the classroom ... that certainly helps with giving everybody a bit of comfort," Sylvester said. "One of the things that's important to make a distinction of here is that his victim was an adult, so there's no indication that this person has made any contact with young people. Although, if there is anyone in the district or anyone else that thinks they've been a victim, we encourage them to call us as well."
Superintendent Blanch said in a statement that the school would continue to take any necessary actions to safeguard students
"We have been told that the alleged incident did not occur in the town of Somers and did not involve any district students or minors," Blanch said. "The district remains in contact with law enforcement and will continue to carefully monitor this situation."