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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Preliminary Hearing For Spriggle Reset

By George Osgood--Star Gazette

GALETON – A preliminary hearing for a woman who formerly taught special education at Northern Potter Children’s School and is charged with abusing a mentally handicapped boy has been postponed.

The hearing for Heather M. Spriggle, 38, of Ulysses, was scheduled for Tuesday morning before Galeton Magisterial District Judge Delores Bristol. It has been continued until 1 p.m. on Oct. 17.

State Trooper James Yoder charged Spriggle with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor count of simple assault and a summary count of harassment.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the alleged abuses took place between Sept. 1, 2005 and May 30, 2006. The alleged victim was 13 and 14 years old during that time and had the mental ability of a 5-year-old, according to police.

Spriggle was employed as a special education teacher by Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit Nine, based in Coudersport. Ron Mancia, special education supervisor for the unit, said Spriggle had been suspended.

“She is not in the classroom,” he said.

Teachers aides told police they saw Spriggle abuse the special education student, including pinching him, bending his fingers and throwing him into a wooden shelf. She also verbally abused him, one aide said.

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