Pennsylvania substitute teacher accused of hiding in clothing racks, groping teen shopper

A Pennsylvania substitute teacher is accused of hiding in between two clothing racks and groping a teenage shopper who was at the store with her family last Friday.

Jared Gerhard is facing several charges, including unlawful contact with a minor and indecent assault, for the incident that happened at a Lower Macungie Marshall's.

Investigators say Gerhard, 30, approached a 17-year-old girl at the store and lifted his shirt. The frightened teen, according to court paperwork, returned to her family.

A short time later, an affidavit says the victim was in a clothing aisle with her mother, father and brother when she felt a hand reach between her legs from behind. 


The teenage victim allegedly saw Gerhard hiding between two clothing racks and screamed that he had just touched her.

Gerhard fled the store carrying unpaid merchandise, according to court paperwork, and a witness tried to thwart his escape but was unsuccessful. 

Investigators say Gerhard sped from the store's parking lot onto Lower Macungie Road and continued onto Mill Creek Road where police pulled him over. 

Gerhard was allegedly "sweating profusely" when he was stopped and had fresh scratch marks on his right hand and left elbow. Clothing and merchandise with Marshall's tags attached were found inside the car, including a stuffed mushroom from the Mario video games. 

Gerhard, who authorities say worked as a substitute teacher at various Lehigh County schools, was taken into custody and arraigned later that day. 

He was set free after posting $35,000 bail.