Author Ruth Ann Krause

Charges of child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor have were filed Monday against an East Chicago junior high school teacher and coach involving two students.

Paul E. Chandler Jr., 39, of Portage, was charged with touching or fondling a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl while they were in class.

The 13-year-old girl told police in September she was in her math class when Chandler, a coach and gym teacher at Block Junior High, touched her arm in an uncomfortable way as he walked by her desk and brushed his fingers over her thighs as she was doing her school work at her desk, the probable cause affidavit states.

The 14-year-old girl told police she was sitting in math class on Sept. 14 when Chandler sat behind her and touched her inappropriately with his knee, the probable cause affidavit state.

The incidents were witnessed by a 14-year-old boy, who told police he saw Chandler rub the younger girl’s arm and hear her tell him, “Leave me alone,” records state.

The child molesting charge is a Level 4 felony, punishable by two to 12 years, and the sexual misconduct charge is a Level 5 felony, punishable by one to six years.

 is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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