Ex-Littlestown teacher guilty of corrupting, assaulting students
A former Littlestown Area School District music teacher who lives in York County has pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him and now awaits sentencing.
Nicholas Andrew Oaster signed an affidavit surrendering his license to teach when he appeared in Adams County Court to plead guilty Thursday, Oct. 26, according to Adams County assistant district attorney Kelley Margetas.
"He gave me his teaching certificate today," she said shortly after the hearing. "It will be forwarded to the Department of Education."
Oaster, 32, of the first block of Frock Drive in Penn Township, was arrested in May by Littlestown Police on charges he sexually assaulted two high school students, physically assaulted a third and made unwanted sexual comments to a fourth, whom he also was accused of inappropriately touching.
He pleaded guilty Thursday to the third-degree felony of corruption of minors, according to court records.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault without consent and harassment involving lewd or threatening language, which are misdemeanors. And he pleaded guilty to summary harassment involving subjecting another to physical contact.
Some charges dropped: Oaster's first- and second-degree felonies were withdrawn at his plea hearing. They were involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and counts of unlawful contact with a minor, according to court records.
He is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 5, Margetas said.
The scheduling was set that far in advance because Oaster must undergo a state Megan's Law evaluation to determine if he should be deemed a sexually violent predator.
Margetas confirmed that if Oaster were found to be such a predator, he would have to register with the state as a sex offender for the rest of his life and comply with strict conditions.
If not, she said, Oaster will still have to register with the state as a Megan's Law sex offender for 15 years and follow statewide sex-offender requirements.
Prison possible: An agreement between the defense and prosecution caps at nine months the maximum amount of prison time he can be sentenced to, she said.
Margetas read the following statement in open court:
"The commonwealth's recommendation is based on facts and circumstances that have been brought to (our) attention subsequent to filing charges. For instance, it was determined that the events that were alleged began in the fall of 2012, which was (Victim No.1's) senior year, as opposed to the fall of 2011, as originally reported. And the commonwealth has also been provided evidence shedding additional light on the nature of the relationship between (Victim No.1 and Oaster)."
Margetas said she also told the court:
"If called at trial, (Victim No.1) would testify that in October 2012, which was her senior year, the defendant began contact with her after a breakup with her boyfriend. She reported that the contact continued to occur at the school a few times a week until her graduation in 2013, and escalated during that time period to touching her private areas. She was 17 at the time."
Defense attorney Terrence McGowan did not return a phone message seeking comment.
'Moved forward': Oaster was the music and chorus teacher for the high school and the district's middle schools, officials said.
Littlestown Area School District placed him on paid administrative leave April 10 after learning of the accusations against him, Superintendent Christopher Bigger said at the time.
Attorney Daniel Altland, the school district's solicitor, confirmed Oaster remains on suspension for now.
"We expect a final resolution by the end of November," Altland said.
Bigger released a statement Thursday afternoon:
"We are all seeking closure on this topic as we have already replaced Mr. Oaster and have moved forward as a school district. LASD will wait for formal notification and then act accordingly as a school board in the months ahead. The victims deserve praise and respect for coming forward to start the investigation and allow the judicial system to render a verdict."
The background: According to Littlestown Police, the investigation began after a Littlestown Senior High School student went to the school principal April 7 and said Oaster had assaulted another student, who eventually came to be known as Victim No.1.
That student said the victim "fear(ed) for the safety of future students and did not want to see them hurt in the same way," according to court documents.
School administrators began their own investigation in addition to alerting police, court documents state.
Oaster assaulted and harassed the girls over a six-year period, starting in 2012 and ending in April 2017.
Oaster initially was accused of physically forcing Victim No.1 to perform oral sex on him in October 2012 after luring her into the band office, despite her attempts to fight him off and despite the fact she was crying, court documents had alleged. However, the charges for that conduct were dismissed.
The girl was 17 at the time and told investigators the contact started with Oaster giving her "consolation" hugs after she and her boyfriend broke up, documents state. But after about a week, Oaster started fondling her buttocks when he hugged her and also would touch the girl's breasts, both under and over her clothing, police said at the time.
'Over 100' assaults: The girl told investigators she would push Oaster away when he inappropriately touched her but that he continued to sexually assault her "a few times a week" until she graduated, police said.
She estimated there were "over 100" separate assaults that she said happened in the band office, the music library, Oaster's office and Oaster's high school classroom, according to court documents.
Another student told police Oaster sexually harassed her since she started attending the high school, making comments about her taking off her clothes and sitting on his lap, documents state.
He asked her, "Are you ready to have sex with me?" and once commented about leggings she was wearing by saying, "they would look better on my bedroom floor," according to documents, which state Oaster asked her to have sex with him on numerous occasions.
Pushed into cabinet? A third girl interviewed by authorities reported that Oaster made rude comments to her that were couched as jokes and once threw a water bottle at her face, documents state. The girl said that in late February, Oaster pushed her into a filing cabinet, causing a scratch on her arm, police allege.
A fourth girl reported that Oaster made inappropriate comments about having sex with her when she saw him daily for chorus class in the spring of 2015, according to police.
Court documents state Oaster knew the girl took self-defense classes and would ask her to show him those tactics as he put her in chokeholds.
The girl said Oaster kept doing it several times a day even though it made her very uncomfortable, documents state. She also said Oaster became more aggressive and more hostile as "he kept getting away with it."
The fourth girl, who was 17 at the time, said Oaster touched her buttocks four or five times in June 2015 as she was helping him carry musical instruments or supplies from the school, documents state.
The girl told police that she at first thought the touching was accidental, "but when she turned around ... Oaster would look at her and 'smirk,'" documents state.
Margetas said Oaster pleaded guilty to charges related to his conduct toward each of the four victims.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.