Former OPS teacher could face life in prison for sexual assaults of children

Former OPS teacher could face life in prison for sexual assaults of children
Gregory Sedlacek

A former Fontenelle Elementary School first-grade teacher pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting three students, prosecutors said.

Gregory Sedlacek, who was accused of sexually assaulting a total of six students, appeared in court Monday.

Sedlacek faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum life sentence on each count. He will be sentenced in July. The judge could decide to run the sentences all at the same time or one after the other.

Sedlacek, 31, had been charged with six counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of third-degree sexual assault of a child. In return for his guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped three of the charges.

Sedlacek was arrested Dec. 3 and charged with two first-degree counts involving a 7-year-old girl. Authorities have said Sedlacek digitally penetrated the girl, including at least one time on Nov. 19 on the school playground that was caught on security video.

Prosecutors filed five additional charges involving five other girls at Fontenelle.

Prosecutors have said four girls told police that Sedlacek digitally penetrated them or touched their vaginas multiple times in the classroom this school year.

The first victim told police that she saw Sedlacek touch four of the other students.

Sedlacek admitted to inappropriately touching all six students, authorities say.

Sedlacek had worked at Fontenelle as a first-grade teacher since 2016. Before that, he was a paraprofessional at the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where behavior such as excessive hugging and tickling of students led to his firing. He also joined the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis in 2013 but was dismissed the next year.

Authorities said Sedlacek gave them a list of girls he had sexually assaulted. The Red Cloud superintendent has said no children from Red Cloud were on that list.

In December, the Omaha Public Schools board voted to terminate Sedlacek.

Fontenelle Principal Eric Nelson is awaiting trial on allegations that he failed to report Sedlacek’s behavior to police or Child Protective Services.

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