A former Valley area performing arts instructor faces between six and 23 months in Bradford County jail and must spend 25 years on the sex offender registry following his sentencing Thursday in the Bradford County Court of Common Pleas.
Justin Patrick Shaw, 38, of Waverly, pleaded guilty in late September to two felonies: institutional sexual assault and sexual assault by sports official, volunteer, or employee of non-profit association.
According to Bradford County District Attorney Dan Barrett, Shaw expressed regret over his bad choices and apologized during the sentencing. The defense also presented many letters in support of Shaw.
Shaw had been a drama director at both the Sayre and Athens high schools, although the report from Pennsylvania State Police 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.
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.
The affidavit of probable cause stated that Shaw touched a male student inappropriately multiple times and made the student touch him. Court documents also stated that he made sexual advances toward that student, made a comment about a girl’s chest in front of other students, made a comment about oral sex to another female student, told a girl to make sexual sounds during a rehearsal and 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 was originally 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.