Teacher sentenced for sending inappropriate texts

LITTLE VALLEY – A former Salamanca City Central School District science teacher will spend six months in jail for sending inappropriate texts to an underage female student.

Shane Riethmiller, 40, of Dunkirk will also be placed on probation for five years after leaving jail, and already agreed to surrender his teaching license as part of his guilty plea.

Riethmiller was charged with first-degree disseminating indecent material to minors and third-degree sexual abuse to satisfy an indictment after a January 2012 investigation found that he had sexual contact with a female student. The incidents occurred from October-December 2011 in Salamanca when Rieth-miller intentionally used a computer to initiate or engage the minor in communication which invited or induced the minor into sexual contact with him.

Riethmiller resigned from the school district in September after initially being placed on paid leave. As a tenured teacher, he was then allowed to return to the district as an employee in the district office where he would not be in contact with students, before he submitted his resignation.

Later that month, Robert Breidenstein, district superintendent, explained the district’s decision to bring Riethmiller back to work, saying tenured teachers in New York state retain rights to their position, pay, retirement and other benefits while they are out on leave.

“Tenured teachers keep these rights when an investigation and formal charges are still pending. Similarly, the school district retains the right to reassign that person if it’s something that we can accommodate,” Breidenstein said at the time. “We felt that we could do that and still maintain the appropriate level of separation between Riethmiller and the students that may or may not have been impacted by his alleged behavior.”

Before working in Salamanca, Riethmiller was a chemistry teacher at Fredonia Central School and girls’ soccer coach.