Thursday, September 09, 1993

Case of Michael Scott Wheeler

Case of Michael Scott Wheeler
(AKA: Michael Wheeler, Michael S. Wheeler, Mike Wheeler)
Algebra Teacher - Tucson Hebrew Academy, Tucson, AZ
Holland, MI

Convicted on two counts of child abuse  The survivors included three boys - two 12 year olds and a 10-year-old.  If you have any more information about this case, please contact The Awareness Center.

NOTE: There are several people by the name of Michael Scott Wheeler.  The one discussed on this page was born on January 11, 1962.

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents:  

  1. 3 boys report abuse; police arrest teacher (09/10/1993)

  1. Sentencing (06/25/1995)
  2. Lawsuit claims school negligent (09/12/1995)

  1. Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (10/19/2013)


3 boys report abuse; police arrest teacher
The Arizona Daily Star - September 10, 1993

A teacher at a private school on the city's eastside was arrested Wednesday on charges that he molested and abused three of his pupils, police said.

Michael Scott Wheeler, 31, was arrested on the campus of the Tucson Hebrew Academy, 5550 E. Fifth St., on charges of child abuse and child molestation, police said.

Wheeler, of the 1000 block of North Camino Seco, was taken to the Pima County Jail, where he was released yesterday, a jail spokeswoman said. The conditions of his release were not available from the jail yesterday.

Police said they went to the small private school Wednesday afternoon after a pupil reported an incident that occurred on the school grounds earlier in the day, Spillman said.

Police say three boys - two 12 year olds and a 10-year-old - claim that the molestations and abuse have occurred over a year.

Wheeler was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest.

About 150 pupils attend the school, which teaches first through eighth grades, said Gerald Barkan, the school's director.

The Arizona Daily Star - June 25, 1995

These are sentencings in Pima County Superior Court. The last name is the sentencing judge....

Michael Scott Wheeler, two counts of child abuse, 6 mos. in jail, 4 yrs. probation, $200 to Victims Fund, shall participate in Sex Offender Supervision Program, abide by all conditions imposed by the program, notify any business or organization which sponsors activities in which adults supervise children, when volunteering or applying for a job, participate in counseling programs, shall participate in treatment and/or training programs, Houghton.


Lawsuit claims school negligent 
By Rhonda Bodfield
Tucson Citizen - September 12, 1995

It says Tucson Hebrew Academy should have checked out teacher who molested boys.
A local couple have filed suit against the Tucson Hebrew Academy, alleging the school was negligent in hiring a teacher who was predisposed toward child molestation and abuse.
The couple, who emigrated from Ukraine just months before the alleged Sept. 8, 1993, molestation, claim their son, now 15, has been left with permanent and severe emotional, physical and psychological distress.
The Tucson Citizen is not publishing the family’s name, to protect the juvenile’s identity.
Dr. Gerald Barkan, director of the academy at 5550 E. Fifth St., refused comment, saying he had not yet been served with the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accuses the boy’s then-eighth-grade algebra teacher, Michael Scott Wheeler, of forcing him to pull down his pants in the school cafeteria, which at the time was deserted.
`Under the guise of discipline’
The lawsuit accuses Wheeler, 35, of then beating the boy with a stick and ordering him to masturbate, molesting him “under the guise of discipline’ when the boy refused.
The lawsuit states Wheeler then followed the boy into a bathroom, forced him into a stall and again ordered him to masturbate.
During the criminal trial of the case, the family produced pictures of the boy’s bruised and punctured buttocks, alleging the stick he was beaten with had exposed staples in it.
“Our allegation is, they should have done a background check,’ said the couple’s attorney, David Alan Darby.
“If they had gone through the normal channels of the Tucson Unified School District or the Tucson Police Department, they would have seen he was investigated for this type of behavior in the past.’
Teacher investigated in 1990
Darby said criminal records show that in 1990, Wheeler was investigated after another then-13-year-old boy accused him of molesting him after he spent the night at his house in preparation for a camping trip.
No arrests were made at the time.
Last June, Wheeler was sentenced to six months in jail and four years’ probation for two counts of child abuse involving the boys.
He also was ordered to participate in the Sex Offender Supervision Program.
The couple are suing the school on eight counts, including the loss of their son’s companionship and affection, infliction of emotional distress, negligence and false imprisonment.
They are seeking unspecified damages, medical expenses for continuing psychological treatment, punitive damages and court costs.
During the criminal trial, police officers testified they had responded to the couple’s home on domestic violence calls.

Their former apartment manager also testified he evicted the family because their son bullied other children in the complex.


Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry
October 19, 2013



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Monday, September 06, 1993

Sermon on Jewish Domestic Violence

Sermon on Jewish Domestic Violence

Educating Ourselves About Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community (September, 1993)
Rabbi Moshe Re'em

There is a public aspect to synagogue services on the High Holidays that is sometimes overlooked in the process of focusing on the need for individual repentance. We spend a great deal of time concentrating on self-improvement. This, of course, is very important and necessary for the process of Tikkun Olam, correcting that which is in need of improvement in the world. If we want to improve the world, first we must begin with ourselves.

Equally important, however, is the need to reflect on our responsibility as a Jewish community. As the Talmud teaches: "All Israelites are responsible for one another" (which is interpreted to mean that we are bound to prevent wrongdoing). In fact, the list of sins that we recite in the Al Chet prayer (the Long Confessional) on Yom Kippur appears in the plural form. We recite them publicly and as a community. Whether we actually committed the particular offense or not, we recite the long list as a whole. Thus, it is perfectly natural for us to reflect on ways in which we can help one another within the Jewish community as we begin a new year.

In his twelfth century law code, the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides outlines three stages of repentance. The first stage involves forsaking the sin from your thoughts, regretting the fact that you committed that sin. This first stage is based on a recognition that the individual has of having had committed a sin. Too often as a community, we fail to even recognize that there is a problem. How often do we, as a community, face up to the fact that domestic abuse occurs in our midst? How often do we try to deny the fact that those ills which plague society in general affect individual Jews as well? Child abuse, partner abuse, and wife beating are sad realities of American society as a whole. It is a sad reality for Jewish families also. Our first obligation in rectifying the situation is facing up to the fact that it happens in Jewish families as well.

An ancient rabbinic homily applies the first Hebrew letters of each word in the verse from Song of Songs (6:3), "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine," to the Hebrew month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur. The Jewish mystical tradition interprets the Song of Songs allegorically as a dialogue between G-d and the people of Israel. Thus, the reference to G-d's special relationship with Israel is meant to serve as a source of optimism that all will go well with Israel in the year to come. But what if one concentrates on the peshat, the contextual meaning of the Song of Songs? What if one reads the book as a marvelous collection of love poetry between a man and a woman? What significance, then, does that have for the preparatory message conveyed by the rabbis?
I think the message is quite clear. The month prior to the High Holidays, we are called upon to examine our personal relationships. Are there sins that we commit as individuals in private? Will another year of pain and physical abuse pass without dealing with some very serious issues? As a community, will another year pass without confronting these problems? The first step that we must take is one of recognizing that a problem exists. It is a process of educating ourselves and helping those who are dear to us who need help.

This year, Jewish Social Services [of Madison] has taken the first step in addressing the issue of domestic violence. They will begin by focusing on partner abuse in the Jewish community. Please try to make a mental note that when you read about an important lecture that will be taking place on partner abuse that we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to become educated, to know how to identify abuse, to recognize it's signs, and to know who to contact and how to proceed. We owe that much to those we care about and love.

"All Israelites are responsible to one another," says the Talmud. We have a responsibility to our community. Let us share in that responsibility, and let us hope that in the process, during the coming year, the world in which we live will be at least a fraction more livable for those who currently suffer.
May all of you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy and healthy New Year.
Shanna Tovah!