September 17, 2014

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UPDATED: Amherst elementary school custodian facing sex offense charges

Raymond Tiller

Raymond Tiller

Anna Merriman and Chelsea Miller
The Chronicle-Telegram

AMHERST – Officials at Harris Elementary School changed the school locks and sent a call out to parents Tuesday after learning that one of their custodians was facing kidnapping and sex offense charges.

Raymond Tiller, 56, a custodian at Harris Elementary School in Amherst, was charged with two counts of kidnapping and two counts of gross sexual imposition on Tuesday.

Police said they received a sexual offense complaint regarding Tiller, and detectives began an investigation into the matter with the assistance of School Resource Officer Eric Layfield, resulting in Tiller’s arrest.

The offense was reported to have occurred at Harris, which is on South Lake Street, police said. Tiller was assigned to the afternoon shift and normally worked 2 to 11:30 p.m., with the school day ending at 3:35 p.m.

The date of the reported offense was on a weekend and not a school day, according to police. The reported victim was not a student of Amherst Schools.

Police said there have been no complaints against Tiller regarding any Amherst Schools’ students; however, the investigation remains open.

Amherst Schools Superintendent Steve Sayers said as soon as he heard of the arrest, he had the locks changed on the school and prepared the automatic phone call to go out to parents.

“He will not be in or around our school buildings … we’ve taken steps to ensure student safety,” Sayers said.

Harris Elementary Principal Beth Schwartz said Tiller was one of two custodians at Harris Elementary School, where he was worked for multiple years leading up to his arrest.

Tiller was taken to Lorain County Jail where he was being held without bond Tuesday. He was scheduled to appear today in Oberlin Municipal Court.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerrimanContact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.


  • MacysMama

    My child goes to school there. This is very scary. If he was a custodian in the district for many years, they should be changing the locks @ every school in Amherst.

  • michelle

    i’d like to know why he was still employed at the school an entire month after the accusations were filed against him on 4/5/14!!!!!!

  • johns62

    michelle, the complaint was on 5/4 not 4/5

    • johns62

      actually 5/5/14

  • golfingirl

    Nice job moving quickly to get him out of the school.

    Only one lock to worry about now, the one to his cell.

    Keep it locked for a very long time.

  • Jim

    Don’t want to put a damper on anyone’s lynch mob party, but as of right now we don’t know what exactly this fellow is accused of, much less if he actually did it.

    It is good and proper for the superintendent to take necessary precautions to keep the students safe– however, demanding that the custodian be fired and or get thrown into jail forever is a bit premature. Does anyone remember the Head Start case?

    • golfingirl

      I agree. I apologize if I was passing judgement.

    • Simon Jester

      Well said.

      There are few issues that get the old knee jerk going faster than child molesters.

      That said, if it’s true, he’s going to the Special Hell.

      • Simon Jester

        Hell, I’d pull the lever to put him into the wood chipper. Alive. Were it my kid.

        Few things more heinous than violating innocence of little kids.

  • arran

    my child attends harris as well. innocent until proven guilty remember. don’t ruin someones life until it has been proven.

    • Phil Blank

      Just being a suspect, locked-up and charged is enough tp ruin your life!

      • HankKwah

        Not to mention having your picture all over the news, with those accusations.

        • franksnbeans

          Well said