A physical education teacher working at Herndon Barstow Elementary School in the Clovis Unified School District has been accused of punishing students by briefly constricting their necks with a jump rope. The victims are all children between the ages of 9 and 11.
Detectives reported that the incident occurred on Thursday afternoon when the teacher, Peter Samhammer, allegedly utilized disciplinary measures consisting of holding a jump rope around their necks for a brief time before releasing them. Visible red marks were left on the neck and shoulder areas of the victims.
The Central Unified School District responded to the situation by releasing a statement confirming that Samhammer, who worked as a seasonal employee, has been placed on official administrative leave. They also announced, “Student safety is a top priority for the district and as such, we are fully cooperating with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and will continue to do so throughout the course of its investigation.”
64-year-old Samhammer was arrested by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of four felony counts of child abuse. On Friday night he posted the set bail amount of $100,000 and he was released from jail. If Samhammer is convicted he faces penalties of a fine of up to $6,000 for each of the four counts, in addition to serving a maximum sentence of six years in California State Prison.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.