- Associated Press - Thursday, January 29, 2015

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - Vermont state police say a Rutland man who worked as a therapy advocate sexually abused a 13-year-old autistic student.

Police say 48-year-old Jon Gilbert is due to appear in Rutland Superior Court on Feb. 16. He’s charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.

Authorities say they were notified by the Vermont Department of Children and Family Service in October about concerns involving inappropriate sexual conduct between Gilbert and the 13-year-old girl at the Vermont Achievement Center where Gilbert worked.

Police say Gilbert sexually abused the child during a summer school trip in 2014 and had sexually explicit exchanges with her on Facebook.

A phone number listed in Gilbert’s name was not in service. It was not immediately known if he has a lawyer.

Gilbert has been on administrative leave from his most recent job with the Rutland school system since Oct. 8, when school officials say they learned of the investigation.

Rutland School Superintendent Mary Moran said Thursday that Gilbert was hired as a para-educator on Aug. 27, 2014 at the Allen Street Campus, “after we received positive reference checks from VAC.”

“Mr. Gilbert has had no contact with Rutland city school students since Oct. 8, 2014,” Moran said.

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