Probation for ex-Red Lion Junior High dean who had sex with student
A former Red Lion Area School District employee who most recently served as dean of students at the district's junior high school has avoided prison for having sex with a 17-year-old.
Chad T. Keiser appeared in York County Court on Wednesday, where he was sentenced pursuant to his plea agreement with prosecutors by presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook.
Cook sentenced Keiser to four years of probation and ordered him to submit to sexual-offender, mental-health and drug and alcohol testing, and to comply with any recommended treatment.
She also ordered him to have no unsupervised contact with minors, except for his own children.
"I am pleased to have this matter finally resolved," said Keiser's attorney, Chris Ferro. "Chad has accepted responsibility for an isolated mistake made more than a decade ago. I am hopeful that he and his family can now move forward."
Keiser, 45, of Windsor Township, had been set to be sentenced when he pleaded guilty in July to one count of corruption of a minor, graded as a first-degree misdemeanor.
But Cook declined to impose the agreed-upon sentence because it called for him to have unsupervised contact with his three children, who in July were 13, 8 and 3. The judge said she first wanted probation officials to approve that condition.
The sentencing was also delayed so Keiser could undergo a lie-detector test, which was subsequently done, according to the judge.
Keiser had full access to his own children while his case was pending, as his bail conditions didn't prevent that, senior deputy prosecutor Erin Kraska has said.
He declined to make a statement in court Wednesday, but in July he told the judge he'd asked for forgiveness from his family and from the school district.
At his July hearing, Keiser described his sexual contact with the 17-year-old girl as brief and consensual.
Pennsylvania law, however, states that a minor cannot consent to illegal sexual contact.
'Coaxed' student: York Area Regional Police filed the corruption charge against Keiser on Dec. 20 and said he coaxed the 17-year-old Red Lion Area High School student into having a sexual relationship with him.
According to court documents, the woman told police she was a member of the school band and was a senior during the 2006-07 school year.
She turned 18 on January 2007 before graduating in June of that year, police said.
Keiser did not face a felony charge of institutional sexual assault because in 2006 and 2007, schools were not included in the list of institutions that were covered by that offense, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
"Schools were not added in that legislation until 2011," he said.
At the time of the sexual relationship, Keiser was an elementary school teacher in the district and also was assistant director of the Red Lion Area High School band, which is how the girl knew him, police said.
"(She) stated Keiser somehow obtained her cellphone number during the late summer or fall of 2006," court documents state. "She said Keiser sent her a text message telling her she looked good after a football game. (She) stated she eventually figured out that Keiser had sent the text message."
The woman said she believes her relationship with Keiser became sexual sometime in the early fall of 2006, when she was 17, and also told investigators that the two engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex, documents state.
Keiser's background: Keiser graduated from Red Lion Area High School in 1993 and was hired as an elementary school teacher in 1997, according to his school district biography, which is no longer available on Red Lion Area's website. He later became assistant director of the Marching Lions.
In 2019, he was dean of students for Red Lion Area Junior High School, served as the district's music supervisor, was co-director of the district's eJazz Band and was supervisor of elementary art and physical education, according to that biography. He also was set designer/technical director for the all-school musical, stage crew adviser and director of the district's madrigal choir.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.