Local elementary school volunteer arrested for sexual abuse

WHITE CITY, Ore. – A local elementary school volunteer was arrested for sexually contacting a kindergartener at a White City school.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said 72-year-old Jerry Duane Lodge was at Lower Table Rock Elementary School when he allegedly “sexually touched” a 5-year-old girl.

Police said Lodge, a Medford resident, was volunteering in the classroom through the Foster Grandparent Program facilitated by Community Volunteer Network, a division of Pacific Retirement Services (PRS). Those who participate in the program are required to pass a criminal background check.

According to JSCO, officials with Jackson County School District 9 and PRS are fully cooperating with the investigation.

The sheriff’s office said Lodge has volunteered in classrooms at McLoughlin Middle School and Kids Unlimited during the 2017 calendar year. Nobody has reported any incident involving Lodge at those locations.

Lodge remains behind bars at the Jackson County Jail on one charge of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and one charge of sexual abuse in the first degree. His bail was set for $1 million.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with further information is asked to call JCSO Detective Jason Penn at 541-770-8925.

PRS issued the following statement in regards to the investigation:

We are shocked and saddened by this situation. We have terminated the volunteer from the Foster Grandparent Parent Program, and we are actively assisting the school and authorities in their investigation. Our deepest sympathies are with the victim and family.

Background about the Foster Grandparent Program
The Foster Grandparent Program is a federal program, active in the Rogue Valley for 41 years. Volunteers undergo extensive background checks and training. We also work closely with schools to monitor volunteer performance.

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