Elderly School Aide Kissed 8-Year-Old on Lips: Police

A 77-year-old daycare worker and school aide in Plymouth is facing charges after kissing an 8-year-old girl on the lips on at least five occasions, according to police.

John Wunsch, of Terryville, was arrested July 23 and charged with risk of injury to a minor and impairing the morals of children.

According to the warrant for his arrest, Wunsch kissed the victim during an after-school program held at the Plymouth Center School on North Street.

School administrators told police Wunsch divided his time between the Plymouth Center School and the Terryville Learning Center, where he began work in 2000.

According to police, the most recent incident happened April 28 in a stairwell near the school gymnasium. The 8-year-old victim said Wunsch kissed her five or six times that afternoon and that it had happened several times before, starting on her last day of first grade.

Another school worker told police she and Wunsch were taking a group of 10 students to the gym when one of the boys began acting up. The child ran into a stairwell and Wunsch followed, bringing the victim along to help his coworker “manage the number of kids left in the gym,” the warrant says.

That’s when he allegedly kissed her on the lips. “We’re alone and we can kiss,” he told her in the stairwell, adding that they better “hurry up and do it,” according to the warrant. Wunsch’s coworker said the two reappeared two or three minutes later.

In a May 29 interview at the Plymouth Police Department, Wunsch said the victim had “accidentally kissed him” in February while running and jumping into his arms. He said he “viewed the accident as an embrace between friends” and that it happened on several other occasions over the next month, according to the warrant.

The victim, on the other hand, told a clinical supervisor at Saint Francis Hospital that Wunsch would kiss her on the lips when they were alone and on the top of the head when other people were around.

According to the warrant, she told her parents she wanted it to stop but didn’t say anything to Wunsch because she “didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

School workers and administrators said there had never been evidence of misconduct in the past, the warrant says.

Wunsch was arrested July 23 and released on $25,000 bond. He appeared in court Aug. 4 and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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