teresa bevins.jpgIsmael Seals.jpg

                                  Teresa A. Bivens, 27                             Ismael B. Seals, 34

Two From Paramount Academy Arrested

On April 25, 2014, detectives from the Berks County District Attorney's Child Abuse Unit initiated an investigation relative to a reported physical assault of a 17 year old male (victim) from the Paramount Academy located at 1700 City Line Street, Reading, Berks County, PA. The Paramount Academy is an educational facility for students in grades 6 through 12 that require therapeutic needs that cannot otherwise be efficiently provided for in a traditional education environment. Students are referred to this facility by the Reading School District.

During the investigation, detectives learned that on April 24, 2014, the victim was attending class at the Paramount Academy. At approximately 1:00 p.m., while inside the classroom, the victim was physically assaulted by Ismael Seals a "Behavioral Specialist" for the Academy. Prior to the assault, the victim's classmates were being taught by Teresa A. Bivens, an instructor at the Academy. Mr. Seals was in the classroom to supervise the students. At that time, members of the class other than the victim were being loud. Subsequently, Mr. Seals verbally ordered the class to be quiet and threatened that the next person who spoke would get their "body slammed" through the door.

A short time later, the victim asked Ms. Bivens for permission to sharpen his pencil. Ms. Bivens gave the victim permission to do so. The victim stood up to sharpen his pencil, and Mr. Seals ordered the victim to sit down. Then, Mr. Seals physically grabbed the victim and slammed him multiple times against the classroom door forcing him into the hallway. Mr. Seals continued his assault on the victim in the hallway by pushing him into the wall while holding the victim's shirt. Then, Seals swung the victim head first into the wall and pinned the victim to the floor. Mr. Seals is approximately 6'4" tall and approximately 280 pounds. The victim is approximately 5'8" and 162 pounds. Furthermore, the portion of the assault that occurred in the hallway was captured by video surveillance cameras. The victim sustained scratches and bruises to his upper torso.

As part of the protocol at the Paramount Academy, employees are required to prepare an incident report which is intended to summarize the circumstances surrounding incidents to aid in an internal review. Both Bivens and Seals submitted those reports. Additionally, on April 28, 2014, they submitted to audio/video recorded statements to detectives. During those statements, both defendants falsely implicated the victim as being disruptive.

On May 2, 2014, Ms. Bivens gave detectives a second interview. During this interview, she admitted that her first interview and report was false. In this interview, she confirmed the victim's report of the assault. She stated that she had lied on the original report because she was prompted by her "higher ups" to clean up the incident when submitting the original report.

On August 4, 2014, detectives obtained warrants of arrest for Bivens and Seals from Magisterial District Judge Thomas H. Xavios on the following charges:

Ismael B. Seals:

  • Aggravated Assault (F1)
  • Simple Assault (M1)
  • Unsworn Falsification to Law Authorities (M2)
  • Tampering With/Fabricate Physical Evidence (M2)
  • Tampering With Public Records or Information (M2)
  • Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Endangering the Welfare of Children (M1)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse Case (M2)
  • Person Required to Report Suspected Child Abuse (M3)

Teresa A. Bivens:

  • Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Tampering With/Fabricate Physical Evidence (M2)
  • Tampering With Public Records or Information (M2)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse Case (M2)
  • Persons Required to Report Suspected Child Abuse (M3)

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at approximately 10 a.m., Teresa Bivens surrendered to Berks County Detectives without incident.

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Ismael B. Seals was suppose to surrender as well, however, he failed to do so. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Berks County Detectives Office at 610-478-7171.

UPDATE: On August 12, 2014, Ismael B. Seals was apprehended in Syracuse, New York, by the Onondaga County Sheriff's Task Force and U.S. Marshal's. He was extradited back to Berks County, Pennsylvania, on August 27, 2014. He is currently out on bail.