A Valley-based performing arts instructor faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges after Pennsylvania State Police say he touched one student multiple times and made sexual comments to others.
Justin Patrick Shaw, 38, of Waverly, was charged with six counts of felony institutional sexual assault, a count of felony corruption of minors, two counts of felony unlawful contact with a minor, four counts of misdemeanor corruption of minors, six counts of misdemeanor indecent assault, and three counts of misdemeanor harassment. He currently sits in the Bradford County Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail, according to court documents.
Shaw had been a drama director at both the Sayre and Athens high schools, although the police report largely focused on incidents that took place elsewhere, such as the former Justin P. Shaw Academy of The Performing Arts building in Athens, in Shaw’s vehicle, or at his home in Waverly. It was unclear if three claims of sexually suggestive comments took place on school grounds.
Police began investigating Shaw after a student came forward to Athens Area High School administration. Three of the student interviews referenced in the affidavit were conducted back in January while a fourth took place in February.
Included in the affidavit of probable cause are claims that Shaw touched a male student inappropriately multiple times and made the student touch him, that he made sexual advances toward that student, that he commented about a girl’s chest in front of other students, that he made a comment about oral sex to another female student, that he told a girl to make sexual sounds during a rehearsal, and that he suggested sex between a boy and girl once she was 18. In a fourth student interview, another male said Shaw asked him about his sex life, and tried to hold his hand, touch his arm and cuddle with him, according to police. Both young men related that Shaw would act emotionally unstable and threaten to harm himself when the students were hesitant about hanging out. These claims dated back to around the beginning of 2018.
Shaw is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 25 before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hurley.