Bishop Carroll teacher faces assault charges
Luksik accused of inappropriately touching students
A Bishop Carroll teacher faces charges after two students allege he inappropriately touched them during a field trip.
James E. Luksik, 68, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on felony and misdemeanor charges after allegations he inappropriately touched two 15-year-old girls during a March field trip to the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
The two 15-year-old students alleged Luksik touched their buttocks during a class field trip on March 25, and according to charges filed Monday in Dauphin County by Pennsylvania Capitol Police, Luksik was put on leave when the allegations came to light through an anonymous tip on March 28.
“A Bishop Carroll faculty member was immediately placed on leave in March 2019 after we were notified of an allegation through the Safe2Say app,” Bishop Carroll CEO Lynn Weber said in a statement Tuesday.
Luksik is the husband of Johnstown-based political activist Peg Luksik, who ran twice for governor as a Constitution Party candidate. He is listed on the Bishop Carroll website as a teacher of social studies, history, geography, civics, economics and sociology.
“Our one teacher, Mr. Luksik, has been making very inappropriate jokes in class toward the girls,” the Safe2Say report stated. The report went on to say that Luksik’s jokes included comments such as, “this one girl I taught was a total babe” and “your older sister was hot, but of course I couldn’t say that when she was in school.”
The report also alleged, “He also has been touching girls in our classes, such as petting their heads/hair, touching their butts and standing very closely behind us during our field trip.”
The report also noted how older girls “have also been creeped out by his jokes and tell us that he is a creep as we come in for freshman year” and “a lot of the girls find it very weird and gross, but the guys find it funny.”
On the report, the tipster added, “I honestly don’t think any of the girls will own up to it because they are afraid of the consequences” and further noted if the school could tell Luksik to stop making the jokes, it would be a lot better for the girls in school.
Weber pointed out the school only learned of the charges when contacted by media on Monday, the day they were filed by Capitol Police in Dauphin County.
“Bishop Carroll has not been contacted by law enforcement and cannot provide further comment,” Weber wrote. “As always, the safety of our students is our number one priority, and it is our intent to cooperate fully if and when we are contacted by authorities.”
The two girls, both 15, told police that Luksik touched them at separate times while they were walking through doorways at the state Capitol during the field trip. One of the girls told police where in the Capitol she was touched, and when police reviewed security camera footage, they noted the girl “goes through the doorway, and as she does, she rapidly side steps and turns around, looking back toward the doorway and proceeds to the staircase.” A short time later, Luksik is seen walking through the doorway after the last student, police point out.
The other girl told police Luksik was one of her favorite teachers “despite other female students that said he was creepy,” police wrote in the charges. In January, she noticed he was making inappropriate jokes in class and paid extra attention to female students.
That same girl told police that while on the bus on the day of the Capitol field trip, Luksik walked down the aisle, stopped in front of her seat and said, “Watch it,” in what police described in the charges was “a joking manner.” The girl said Luksik stood very close to her when he said this and he was so close his stomach touched her. Police said the girl said it made her feel uncomfortable.
It was while the group was leaving the Supreme Court room on the fourth floor of the Capitol that she said she felt “what she thought to be the side of a hand on the right side of her thigh to butt area” as she walked past Luksik, police allege.
In May, police spoke to multiple girls at the school who “expressed discomfort with Luksik’s behavior due to incidents in which he would unnecessarily touch female students and make inappropriate jokes or comments.”
Luksik was arraigned Tuesday in Dauphin County before Magisterial District Judge David O’Leary on two counts each of felony institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors along with four counts of misdemeanor indecent assault and summary charges of harassment.
He remains free on an unsecured $20,000 bond and is slated to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 26.
A call to Media-based attorney Mark D. Freeman, who is listed on court documents as Luksik’s attorney, was not immediately returned on Tuesday.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.