York Tech officials: Nagle told not to touch students
Less than a month before two vo-tech students accused then-teacher Kevin Nagle of touching their genitals, two school administrators met with him and specifically told him not to touch students, according to trial testimony.
Scott Rogers, assistant director of the York County School of Technology, testified in York County Court on Wednesday, July 18, that he and the principal of one of the school's three academies spoke with Nagle on Oct. 21, 2016.
"(We) told Mr. Nagle, 'Listen, you're a teacher — not a tailor, and this isn't a men's clothing store," Rogers told jurors.
Rogers said he and academy principal John Stearns instructed Nagle — who taught business classes and ran the school store — to allow students to choose their own clothing sizes at the store, called the Spart Mart, and not to measure or fit them for clothing.
York Tech students are required to wear uniform shirts — primarily T-shirts, sweatshirts or polo shirts, according to testimony. Students in two of the school's 26 programs also have specific uniform pants to wear, but neither of Nagle's alleged victims was enrolled in those two programs.
'No touching': Rogers said he and Stearns also told Nagle in October 2016 that "This is 2016 — there's no touching of kids."
Stearns testified Tuesday about the discussion and said much the same thing that Rogers did.
"We stressed that he should not measure students ... (and told him), 'Don't touch students,'" he said.
It's unclear why Rogers and Stearns had that conversation with Nagle three weeks before the first alleged assault occurred.
Neither administrator was asked by the prosecution or defense what prompted them to have the Oct. 21, 2016, conversation with Nagle, and neither volunteered that information.
Kevin Nagle, 44, of McSherrystown, is standing trial this week on charges he touched the genitals of two male students, both teens, in November 2016.
The charges: Detective Donald Hopple Jr. with York Area Regional Police filed charges of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and indecent assault against Nagle after York Tech alerted police to allegations made by two students in late 2016. Both students were 17 at the time.
Each teen reported separate incidents in which they say Nagle touched their genitals under the guise of measuring their inseams.
Nagle was immediately suspended, although he had in early November tendered his resignation to take a job in Adams County, according to testimony.
The second alleged victim took the witness stand on Wednesday. Like the first alleged victim, who testified Tuesday, he was soft-spoken.
Underpants removed? He told jurors that on Nov. 14, 2016, Nagle took him to the store's storage room after pointing out that the teen's pants were sagging.
"He said he wanted to get measurements so he could get me in proper-fitting pants," said the young man, who is now 19 years old.
The teen testified his pants and underpants were pulled down by Nagle.
"He noticed there was an odor coming from me. He asked me if i was bathing regularly," the teen said. "He showed me how to clean myself. He used hand sanitizer and, like, a napkin or paper towel."
The teen said Nagle put hand sanitizer on the paper towel, "and he lifted up my scrotum ... and showed me where to wipe."
Nagle touched the teen's penis as well, according to the teen's testimony.
Taking measurements: Nagle also touched the teen's genitals while using a tape measure to apparently measure his inseam, the teen said.
He said Nagle kept him in the storage room and in Nagle's attached classroom for at least two or three hours and questioned him about his home life and sex life.
During the conversation, Nagle "would pull me (over to him) and make me sit on his lap," the teen said, more than five times he estimated.
At one point, an assistant principal knocked on Nagle's classroom door and walked in.
"(Nagle) pushed me off (him) really quick and stood up and went in the hallway to talk," the teen said.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Terrence McGowan asked the teen why he didn't ask that assistant principal for help.
"Just scared and brainwashed, I guess you could say," he testified. "I don't really know. I guess you could say I'm scared of him."
The student testified that the next day, Nagle gave him five pairs of jeans, some shirts, a package of boxer shorts and some hygiene items, then had him try on the pants in the storage room of the school store.
Boxer-shorts demonstration: There, Nagle "showed me how to wear (boxers) the proper way," the teen said.
"He tucked my scrotum, my penis, between my legs and pulled (the boxers) up really high," he testified. "I was a little scared and humiliated. .. I told him I didn't feel comfortable."
The teen said he and Nagle "were doing measurements and cleaning" for perhaps 90 minutes to two hours.
"He more or less forced me to," he testified, by telling the teen if he left, he'd have to do it in his boxers.
"He knew it would humiliate me if I walked around the school in my boxers," the teen testified. "I was crying because I was being forced to answer the questions he was asking me."
The teen said he came forward after seeing a news article about Nagle being charged for allegedly committing a similar act on a different student.
"I didn't want to be the only person who came forward," he said, adding he was afraid people wouldn't believe him and "because I didn't want rumors going around the school and kids harassing me."
Contentious defense: McGowan aggressively tried to cast doubt on the teen's credibility during cross-examination, using school records and personal information the teen had confided to Nagle in fall 2016.
He went after the teen's home life, sex life and school discipline.
McGowan and and deputy prosecutor Teresa Jauregui have repeatedly objected to each other's questioning and requested numerous sidebar conferences with Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook, out of the jury's earshot.
Trial is expected to resume Thursday morning with more prosecution testimony.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.