Former associate director of admissions is arrested

Alex Weidenhof, Copy/Enterprise Editor

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Allegheny College’s former associate director of admissions and coordinator of international recruitment has been arrested on charges that he engaged in sexual contact with an 11-year-old.

Luiz Heleno Pereira, 53, was arrested Jan. 24 by the Meadville City Police Department. He is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, a third-degree felony; indecent assault with a minor under the age of 13, a first-degree misdemeanor; and harassment by subjecting another to physical contact, a summary offense, according to the criminal complaint.

Police allege Pereira met with the 11-year-old on Oct. 3, 2017, to engage in sexual contact.

Pereira was hired by the college in June to fill the role of coordinator of international recruitment. Pereira’s name has been removed from the admissions page and the college’s online employee directory.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Eileen Petula told The Campus that Pereira is no longer employed at Allegheny.

“The college is aware of the serious criminal charges filed against former Associate Director of Admissions Luiz Pereira,” Petula wrote in an email to The Campus. “The college can confirm that Mr. Pereira is no longer an Allegheny employee but is unable to provide further public comment on this or any other personnel matter.”

Court records indicate that Pereira does not have any prior charges in Pennsylvania, and a search of court dockets in South Carolina and New York, where he worked prior to coming to Allegheny, returned no results.

District Court Judge Samuel Pendolino set Pereira’s bail $15,000. Pereira was released from jail after posting bail on Jan. 24. A preliminary hearing, in which the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will present its case, is scheduled for Feb. 13.

At the preliminary hearing, the state can add or remove charges, or raise or lower the degree of Pereira’s current charges. If the district attorney shows probable cause that Pereira committed the crimes he is accused of, or if Pereira waives his right to a preliminary hearing, the case will proceed to the Court of Common Pleas.

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