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Man charged with sexual battery of child confirmed as Waynesboro teacher

Crystal Graham
Joseph Trust
Joseph Trust. Photo: Augusta County Sheriff’s Office

An Augusta County man who was arrested on an aggravated sexual battery charge announced yesterday has been placed on administrative leave from his job in Waynesboro Public Schools.

Joseph Emmanuel Trust, 38, of Stuarts Draft, faces charges involving a female child under the age of 13, according to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.

A reader of AFP said Trust was a Spanish teacher with WPS.

Trust was employed by the school system on Jan. 17, 2020, and was placed on administrative leave yesterday, according to Ryan Barber, assistant superintendent of WPS.

While Barber said he cannot comment on a personnel matter, he did say “it does not involve our school system in any way other than he is one of our teachers.”

Barber confirmed that Trust teaches Spanish at Waynesboro High School, and while this alleged incident may not have involved a student, Barber said the school system does have an “investigative process” to ensure there are no victims at WHS.

Barber said any employee who is being investigated for alleged conduct involving a minor is placed on administrative leave with pay until a resolution of that matter or employment decision is made.

Barber believes that the school system is equipped to deal with child abuse matters.

“All of our employees are mandated reporters,” said Barber. “We provide professional development for our staff on recognizing child abuse. We employ school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists and teachers who are always ready to listen and support a child who is struggling with issues like these.”

AFP has reached out to the ACSO and Commonwealth’s Attorney for additional information.

According to a news release, sheriff’s office investigators worked with the Shenandoah Valley Child Protective Services on the investigation.

Trust has been ordered held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail.

Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to contact Investigator Leo Cancino at (540) 245-5333.

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Augusta County man arrested, charged with sexual battery of young child

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.