Youth theater director arrested in Chicago for alleged sex assault
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Joel Ewing’s involvement in this summer’s youth production. He did not direct “The Wizard of Oz.”
Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s education director Joel Ewing has been fired from his position following his arrest in Chicago this week on a charge of sexually assaulting a minor.
On Wednesday, Michael Querio, artistic director for the theatre, said Ewing was terminated from his part-time position as education director effective immediately. The theater also emailed a statement to families that had participated in the summer youth programs Ewing directed alerting the families to his arrest.
“We are devastated and shocked by the news, and we understand that members of our close-knit RMRT family will also be experiencing similar emotions,” the statement reads. “The safety and security of your children in our programs is of the utmost concern for us.”
While Ewing faces charges in Chicago, no allegations have yet come to light against him in Grand County, said Lt. Dan Mayer, spokesperson for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Querio also said the theater didn’t know of any allegations against Ewing in Grand County either.
As of Wednesday afternoon, mentions of Ewing’s name had been removed from the theater’s website.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ewing allegedly sexually abused a 15-year-old student at Senn High School in Chicago, where Ewing was a teacher, over the course of several years.
The Chicago Sun-Times also reported on Tuesday that prosecutors told a judge Ewing “could end up facing multiple felonies,” though he is currently only facing one count of criminal sexual assault.
As education director for Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Ewing headed many of the youth theater programs. However, Querio said he hasn’t been teaching for the past four years and has been acting in a mostly administrative position.
The theater’s emailed statement concludes with confidence that its youth programs will “overcome this staff change, and will continue to be strong outlets for arts education and activity for our local children.”
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