Guilty: Jury convicts ex-York Tech teacher of groping students
Jurors have found former vo-tech teacher Kevin Nagle guilty of touching the genitals of two students in 2016.
They deliberated for about two hours and announced they'd reached a verdict at 8 p.m. Friday, July 20.
The jury found Nagle, 44, of McSherrystown, guilty of all the charges against him — two counts each of institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors and one count of indecent assault.
Nagle's wife and daughter cried as they listened to the jury foreman read the verdict, but Nagle showed little reaction. A number of his supporters were there for the verdict; many of them had testified as character witnesses earlier Friday.
As Nagle and his supporters left the courtroom, his wife told The York Dispatch, "They got it wrong."
Presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Prior to that hearing, Nagle must undergo an evaluation to determine if he should be designated a sexually violent predator under the state's Megan's Law.
Deputy prosecutor Teresa Jauregui and defense attorney Terrence McGowan declined comment as they left the courtroom.
Before dismissing jurors, Cook asked if they had anything they'd like to say to her about the experience. The jury foreman said he found the process to be a profound experience, albeit a difficult, one.
About the case: The jury found that Nagle touched the genitals of two 17-year-old York County School of Technology students under the guise of measuring them for pants.
At the time, Nagle taught business classes at the school and also managed the school store.
The two teens testified they went to the school store to buy shirts in November 2016.
While the two students were there, each alone and on separate dates, Nagle told them that their pants were baggy then offered to measure them for a proper fit even though neither was buying pants, according to the two teens.
The victims testified at trial that Nagle measured their inseams while they were naked from the waist down and that he touched their genitals while doing so.
The encounters happened in the storeroom of the school store, according to testimony.
One of the teens said Nagle pulled down both his pants and underpants; the other said he wasn't wearing underpants at the time.
Cleaned teen's genitals: The teen who said Nagle pulled down his underpants also testified that Nagle used hand sanitizer and a paper towel to clean behind the teen's scrotum after saying he noticed an odor. The teen also told jurors that Nagle forced him to sit in Nagle's lap at least five times.
He testified that the next day, Nagle gave him five pair of pants, a package of boxer shorts, some shirts and other items, then demonstrated to the teen how to properly wear boxers, touching the teen's genitals again while doing so.
A third young man, who graduated in June from the technology school, testified that he went to the store to buy a shirt and while there, Nagle noted that the boy's pants were baggy and asked him if he'd like to be fitted for pants.
No charges were filed against Nagle in relation to that encounter.
Two school administrators testified during the weeklong trial that Nagle was specifically told in October 2016 not to touch students, not to measure or fit students for clothing and to allow students to buy whatever sizes they chose.
There was nothing introduced at trial to explain why administrators issued those directives to Nagle.
Closing arguments: Defense attorney McGowan argued to jurors during closing arguments that the prosecution's case was weak. He said the three teens lied.
"Kevin Nagle was a complete teacher and then some, and that’s why we’re here — for the 'then some,'" he said. "Is it weird? Yeah, it's weird. Is it inappropriate? Yeah, I'd say it was inappropriate."
But that doesn't make it criminal, McGowan argued. The jury disagreed.
McGowan called Nagle a "caring, gentle teacher" who took care of his students.
"He took care of them too much," he told jurors.
'Abundant' evidence: Jauregui, the prosecutor, told jurors that the victims have no motive to lie.
Regarding the victim who was given clothing by Nagle, she said he trusted Nagle and didn't know how to respond.
That's because Nagle was grooming him, Jauregui said — trying to build a relationship with the teen that he could then exploit.
"(The victim) felt uncomfortable," she said. "He didn't feel it was right, but that was his teacher."
He didn't come forward until after hearing that Nagle had been arrested "because he didn't want to be the only one," the prosecutor said. He didn't think anyone would believe him, she said.
Jauregui dismissed McGowan's assertion that Nagle is merely a fastidious dresser who wants others to dress the same.
"This isn't fastidiousness — this is grooming," she said. "This is seeing how far you can get."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.