Teacher accused of trying to hypnotize young students, forced them to call him ‘master’

EAST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPMT) -- Pulling young girls out of class and bringing them into an empty classroom. Making them perform puppet shows. Trying to hypnotize them. Forcing them to call him master.

These were some of the details released in a disturbing affidavit involving a child abuse case against 39-year-old James Mentzer.

“The State Police in Harrisburg worked with multiple agencies conducting this in depth investigation, and what they discovered, that Mentzer had inappropriate contact with five female students, ranging in age from 8, 9, and three 11 year-olds,” said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Brent Miller.

Mentzer was a third grade teacher at East Hanover Elementary School in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County since 2003.

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Teacher accused of trying to hypnotize students
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Teacher accused of trying to hypnotize students

An affidavit involving a child abuse case against 39-year-old James Mentzer alleges that he pulled young girls out of class and brought them into an empty classroom. Made them perform puppet shows. Tried to hypnotize them and forced them to call him master.

(Photo: WPMT)

Mentzer was a third grade teacher at East Hanover Elementary School in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County since 2003.

(Photo: WPMT)

According to the affidavit, Mentzer would go to different classrooms when there was a substitute teacher, claiming he was working on projects with the girls who were involved.

(Photo: WPMT)

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Trooper Miller says the alleged abuse began in August 2017vand was reported to police by the school in February of 2018.

Upon learning of the activity, the school immediately contacted law enforcement.

“We were able to paint this picture with all these puzzle pieces and put together with five female victims and get this perpetrator off the streets,” said Trooper Miller.

According to the affidavit, Mentzer would go to different classrooms when there was a substitute teacher, claiming he was working on projects with the girls who were involved.

He would tell the substitute the regular teacher was aware of the project, and bring the girls to his empty classroom.

Only one of the victims was sexually assaulted, saying she was touched on her arms, legs, and groin area, despite her opposition.

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Teacher scandals, crimes and accusations throughout history
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Teacher scandals, crimes and accusations throughout history
Mary Kay LeTourneau, the former teacher who pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old student and then having a child from the affair. Le Tourneau would later marry the student, Vili Fualaau, and the two would have two daughters together.

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

John Mark Karr, is the teacher who falsely confessed to killing  child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

(AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Debra Lafave pleaded guilty in 2005 to sexual encounters with one of her middle school students.

(Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)

Tad Cummins, a former Tennessee high school teacher accused of kidnapping a teenage student and taking her from Tennessee to California.


(Courtesy SCSO/Handout via REUTERS)

Pamela Smart, a former high school media coordinator was convicted of enlisting several teenagers to murder her husband. 

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Rachel Respess (L) and Shelley Dufresne, both high school teachers in Louisiana, were arrested in 2014 on suspicion of having group sex with a 16-year-old boy at one of the teacher's apartments, according to authorities.

(REUTERS/Kenner Police Department/Handout)

Samantha Lee Ciotta is accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student while she was a high school English teacher and cheerleading coach at Beaumont High School in California. 

(Photo via Beaumont Police Department)

Former teacher James Hooker left his wife and children to  move in with his 18-year-old student, Jordan Powers. The two reportedly briefly broke up after Hooker was arrested on charges of sexual assault against another student back in 1998.

(Debbie Noda/Modesto Bee/MCT via Getty Images)

Christopher Paul Neil, a former teacher, is a convicted sex offender who gained notoriety for the digitally-distorted images of his face he posted online.

(Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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None of the known victims were in Mentzer’s class, and police fear there could be more unreported cases.

“We want the public to reach out to us if they believe their child was a victim to this individual. This is still an active case, even though he was charged. There still may be more victims out there,” said Trooper Miller.

According to a statement form the school, Mentzer was placed on administrative leave when these first allegations were brought up, and will remain on leave pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

He is facing a multitude of charges, and is being held at the Dauphin County Judicial Center.

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