PETERSBURG — The principal of Petersburg High School has been charged with 2 misdemeanors of failing to tell police about a student’s claims of sexual assault by a teacher.

Paula Jo Weese is out on a personal recognizance bond after being arraigned Sept. 24.

Authorities say a junior came to her with allegations of being accosted by social studies teacher Jonathan McNemar in 2018 when Weese was then the school’s vice principal.

Weese not only failed to report the charges, court records show, but she also said she got rid of documentation when she moved offices to become PHS’s principal.

McNemar was arrested Aug. 10 following an investigation by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with felony offenses of sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a guardian.

After his arrest, a 2nd student came forward, saying McNemar assaulted her several times in his classroom during her junior year. And, she told police, she reported the claims to Principal Weese on March 12.

Weese said she would “look into it,” court documents reveal. However, Weese reportedly told police she did not report the allegation to them.

Grant County Sgt. Kurt Thorne said both sets of claims are still being investigated. He said charges are pending on the 2nd allegations. 

McNemar resigned from his social studies position, which he had held for 3 years, after he was arrested. He is in custody at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, held on $115,000 bond.

The Grant County Magistrate Court was awaiting Weese’s retention of an attorney before it set further hearing dates for her.

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