Police: Cranston teacher accused of sexual assault had ‘similar’ past incidents

Charles Pearson is on administrative leave.

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston teacher that was accused of sexually assaulting four students at Cranston West High School has a history with a “similar pattern of behavior,” according to the Cranston Police Chief.

According to Chief Michael Winquist, conduct resembling the latest charges against Charles Pearson has occurred over the last 16 years.

Pearson, age 58, a science teacher at Cranston West High School, was charged with 12 counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault and was arraigned at Cranston Police Headquarters Thursday evening.

In 2001, Pearson was accused of inappropriately touching someone while working at the Rhode Island Training Academy, said Winquist.

Pearson resigned from this job and months later, he was hired by Cranston West.

Winquist said that in 2009, Pearson was accused of using inappropriate language and behavior in front of the girls’ soccer team, whom he coached.

Four years later, Pearson was accused of touching a player inappropriately. He would resign from his role as coach, Winquist claimed, but continue teaching.

Overall, Winquist said this information only “lends credence” to the most recent allegations.

George Blessing, a psychologist at Cranston West was placed paid leave from the school on Monday after questions were raised over whether he withheld information about assault allegations against Pearson.

On Tuesday, Blessing was arrested and arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of “duty to report sexual abuse of a child in an educational program.”

Due to his position, Blessing is legally obligated to report any potential abuse within 24 hours of learning about it, according to Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist.