A J.P. McCaskey High School music teacher groomed a former male student for a sexual relationship by showering him with gifts and cash and took him on trips, according to Lancaster city police, who charged him Monday.
Timothy Sterner, 52, of East Hempfield Township, was charged with one count sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, attempted institutional sexual assault of minor, solicitation to commit institutional sexual assault of a minor – both third-degree felonies – and related offenses.
Sterner was being held at Lancaster County Prison on $2 million bail. A message left at a number for him was not returned and no one answered the door at his family's Nolt Road home around 6:45 p.m.
According to police, a former student told them that while at McCaskey from 2011 through 2015, Sterner pursued a sexual relationship with him. The student's accusations were initially made to Lancaster County Children and Youth Services, which referred the matter to police July 2.
The man "told investigators that Sterner spent countless hours with him, taking him out to meals, providing him with money, shopping trips and providing him with clothing/shoes, provided him with a cellular phone with a service plan, took the victim on several trips outside (Pennsylvania) and paid a large portion of the expenses need for the victim to travel to Europe with Sterner," police said in a release.
The man told police while he was a high school student, Sterner "repeatedly asked the victim to engage in sexual acts with him."
He told police that Sterner, on more than one occasion, "pulled (his) head toward (Sterner's) groin and asked the victim to perform a sexual act on him."
Sterner also asked the man to send him pictures of his genitalia and sent images of his genitals and videos of him masturbating to the man, police said. The man also told police that Sterner, more than once, "exposed his genitals to the victim and did manipulate himself in front of the victim."
Police said that they have not been made aware of additional victims, but they encourage any other people who were assaulted to contact Lancaster city police, at (717) 735-3300.
Adam Aurand, a School District of Lancaster spokesman, said the school was made aware of the charges Monday.
"He has immediately been placed on administrative leave. We will continue to cooperate with the police investigation," Aurand said.
Sterner, a 30-year-employee, is paid a salary of $75,606, Aurand said. Counseling services will be offered to students, he said.
Sterner was also charged with one count of depicting sexual activities on a computer, a second-degree felony; two counts of corruption of a minor, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of dissemination of explicit sexual material to a minor and one county of endangering the welfare of a child – all third-degree felonies, according to court records. He was also charged with one count of indecent exposure, second-degree misdemeanor.