Three male teachers at a single rural high school have been arrested after admitting to passing a male student amongst themselves during a series of over-lapping physical encounters.
The boy, 16, came forward and told prosecutors that the band director, a swim coach and a substitute Spanish teacher all engaged in physical relationships with him several times on the grounds of North Putnam High School in central Indiana.
Perhaps most horrifying is that the boy was introduced to the band director by the Spanish teacher — after the two adults talked about the teen during a teach with each other.
The case has shocked the small community, where just 580 students attend the school and ‘everybody knows everybody.’
Arrested were: Nicholas A. Vester, 24, a substitute Spanish teacher who worked at the school for 12 weeks last fall; Craig E. Rogers, 24, the band director who is currently on paid leave and Brandon D. Largent, 20, a student at Ivy Tech community college who was a lifeguard and volunteer swim coach at the school.
Police say Vester met the student at the high school in October and the two exchanged text messages and pictures, including nude photos.
The sexual activity escalated in November when Vester fondled the boy in his car in the parking lot of a local store — and the pair had oral sex.
It culminated in December when Vester had sex with the teen in the back of his car on a roadside after a basketball game at the high school, the teacher told police.
The substitute teacher also admitted he kissed and fondled the teen at school 12 to 15 times.
During this time, Vester and Rogers went out on a date together, where they discussed the boy.
It was Vester who introduced Rogers, a prominent teacher at the small school, to the teen.
Rogers said he kissed the teen ‘with tongue’ and hugged him at least three times in December and January after the introduction.
Eventually, the teen told the man ‘no more’ and the relationship ended.
Then, in January, Largent said he kissed the boy in the pool locker room at the high school.
Since the boy was 16 when the physical and sexual activity took place, the men were only charged with child seduction, which is the lowest class of felony.
In Indiana, it is illegal for teachers, coaches or anyone who is a guardian of children, to have a physical relationship with a minor whom they look after.
For weeks, rumors circulated in the small community after Rogers, the only full time teacher in the group, was put on paid administrative leave in January.
‘We’re a rural community where people don’t lock their doors at night and people leave their keys in their cars around the courthouse,’ Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said.
‘These things just don’t happen around here. So I’ve never had an allegation involving any teacher, let alone three teachers.’