‘I understand what I did.’ Former Bellefonte High worker sentenced for sex with student

Toby Chencharick
Toby Chencharick

A former Bellefonte Area High School cafeteria worker accused of having sexual intercourse with a student four days after he was hired was sentenced to at least 11-and-a-half months in jail on Thursday.

Toby “Cha Cha” Chencharick met the student at the Youth Service Bureau, where they both worked as youth counselors, according to Bellefonte police.

The 19-year-old initially denied sexual contact with the student, but later wrote a statement admitting that “consensual sex was performed and was initiated by her.”

He pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of corruption of minors. One felony county of institutional sexual assault was dropped.

Prior to sentencing, Chencharick made a statement to Judge Brian Marshall.

“This case ... was a rather interesting case when I looked at the charge. I understand what I did and that it shouldn’t have happened and that I should’ve known,” Chencharick said. “The implications of me being a worker at the school and having contact with students ... I should’ve watched my encounters, but I didn’t. That was my mistake. This case makes me look more of a bad person than what I am. I have worked with children for years. In short, I take responsibility for what I did because I did it.”

Marshall sentenced Chencharick to a maximum of 23-and-a-half months in the Centre County Correctional Facility, which will be followed by four years of probation.

Chencharick, who was deemed to be a tier one sex offender, must also complete Project Point of Light and received 252 days credit for time served.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.