Prison for ex-Littlestown teacher who targeted students
A former Littlestown Area School District music teacher who lives in York County must serve prison time for his crimes against district students.
Nicholas Andrew Oaster was sentenced on Monday, Feb. 5, to nine months to 23 months and 29 days in the Adams County prison, followed by a year of probation, according to Adams County assistant district attorney Kelley Margetas.
Once released from prison, Oaster must abide by sexual-offender probation conditions and register as a sex offender with state police for 15 years under the state's Megan's Law, Margetas said.
Oaster, 33, of the first block of Frock Drive in Penn Township, pleaded guilty Oct. 26 to the third-degree felony of corruption of minors.
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.
At the time of his guilty plea in Adams County Court, Oaster signed an affidavit surrendering his license to teach, Margetas has said, and that form was then sent to the state Department of Education.
Two of Oaster's victims and a victim's mother spoke in court, Margetas said. Additionally, an impact letter written by Oaster's primary victim was read aloud in court.
'Bully': The students called him a monster and a bully, and they said he abused his position of authority and should have known better, according to Margetas.
The lead victim wrote that Oaster breached her trust and abused his power over her, the attorney said.
Oaster also spoke in court.
"He acknowledged what he did was wrong, but he was very adamant it wasn't the way it was initially reported," Margetas said. "He was apologetic to the other girls for being inappropriate toward them."
Oaster must report to prison Monday, Feb. 19, she said.
His defense attorney, Terrence McGowan, did not return a message seeking comment.
Littlestown School District Superintendent Christopher Bigger wrote in an email to The York Dispatch on Monday:
"The sentencing today brings closure to an 11 month legal process. We are thankful for all who were instrumental in providing the necessary information to trigger immediate action by school and local authorities. While this may bring legal closure, we can only imagine how all of the parties involved are coping. My heart goes out to all! May we strive to always create an environment where it is safe to share concerns immediately, followed by steadfast interventions and action."
The background: Oaster 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.
Margetas read the following statement in open court at Oaster's guilty-plea hearing regarding the charges against him:
"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."
Music teacher: Oaster was the music and chorus teacher for the high school and the district's middle schools, officials have 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, said Oaster's resignation was accepted by the school board on Nov. 10.
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.
School administrators began their own investigation in addition to alerting police, court documents state.
'Consolation hugs': Victim No. 1 told investigators Oaster gave 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.
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 Oaster once pushed her into a filing cabinet, police said.
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 did that 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."
Fourth victim: 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 has 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.