A teacher and softball coach in Wisconsin has been charged with five felony counts for allegedly having an online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Peter Gaustad, a social studies teacher and the head softball coach at Glenwood City (WIs.) was arrested Thursday. He was charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of exposing a child to harmful material, one count of causing a child to view and listen to sexual activity, and one count of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in St. Croix County District Court and reported by the Star Tribune.
The Star Tribune (Minn.) reports that Gaustad, 45, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a letter sent to parents by high school principal Patrick Gretzlock.
Gaustad had taught in the small district east of Hudson for 19 years. In addition to being the head varsity softball coach, per the school’s website, he as the junior varsity girls basketball coach.
“It’s awful,” Glenwood City Superintendent Tim Johnson told the Star Tribune. “He was a person that people connected with.”
According to what Johnson told the Star Tribune, it is believed all activity took place off school grounds. No students in the Glenwood City schools appeared to be victims, per the Star Tribune.
The Star Tribune reports that authorities in Boone County, Mo., where the teenage girl lived, notified authorities in St. Croix (Wis.) County after the girl’s mother learned about the relationship that her daughter was having with a man through online applications such as Snapchat and Whisper.
Per the Star Tribune, Wisconsin investigators determined that Gaustad developed a relationship with the teen over several months and that he shared explicit sexual images and videos over the apps.
According to the city’s website, Gaustad was also chairman of the City Council’s public utilities committee.