A plea of not guilty to charges of sexual assault of four minors was entered Oct. 16 at Litchfield Superior Court by Robert Reinhardt, former dean at The Gunnery School in Washington.

Mr. Reinhardt has been charged with sexual assault against four students at the Washington college preparatory school.

Dressed in a black suit, the 44-year-old former school administrator, science teacher and crew team coach sat in the rear of the second floor courtroom where several supporters joined him before the court proceedings began.

In the same courtroom, on the opposite side of the room, were representatives of at least two of the students who have accused Mr. Reinhardt of engaging them in sexual encounters.

Mr. Reinhardt is charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of illegal sexual contact with a person under age 16, one count of fourth-degree sexual assault and providing alcohol to a minor. The latter charge is likely to be dropped due to an issue with statute of limitations, Mr. Reinhardt's attorney William Dow said.

In court Oct. 16, Assistant State's Attorney Terri Sonnemann informed Judge Ginocchio that the warrants for these arrests remain sealed but that she and Mr. Dow are working to determine what information can be released and what should remain confidential.

After court, Ms. Sonnemann said the warrants contain "very sensitive allegations" and she and Mr. Dow are seeking to balance the public's right to know the allegations against the rights of the under-age students involved in this case. As of Wednesday, Oct. 21, the seal had not yet been lifted from the warrant.

Mr. Reinhardt was arraigned in August after he learned that the state police had a warrant for his arrest. Those charges related to accusations leveled by three victims; he was charged in October based on a fourth victim. He is free after posting $750,000 bond for the first set of charges and $200,000 on the last charge.

Mr. Reinhardt, who is living in Telford, Pa., with his sister, resigned his position at The Gunnery in June after parents of one student leveled accusations of assault against him. School leaders said they first learned of the allegations at that time and reported the matter immediately to child welfare authorities.

Conditions of his bond stipulate that Mr. Reinhardt can have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18. He is also on probation from having any contact with his accusers.

As soon as the short proceeding concluded, Mr. Reinhardt left the courthouse. Mr. Dow said his client maintains his innocence. Mr. Reinhardt has made no public comments about the charges.

"He continues to receive good support from former students and parents," Mr. Dow said. "Very impressive."

As for the victims, Ms. Sonnemann said she has been working with two of the four and has a "very good working relationship."

The case was continued to Nov. 17.