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June 10, 2015

West Chester boarding school teacher charged with sexual assault of former student

Matthew Scavito The Phelps School/

Matthew Scavito.

A teacher at a West Chester boarding school was arrested Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting one of his students.

The Chester County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that 31-year-old Matthew Scavito, a teacher, coach, and dorm supervisor at The Phelps School, is charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, and endangering the welfare of children.

The arrest came a day after Willistown police interviewed the victim, who alleged he was sexually abused when he attended The Phelps School. The victim says Scavito befriended him during his time at the all-boys school from 2011-2014. 

In May 2013, the victim, then 17, alleges Scavito began a series of sexual assaults at his off-campus apartment. That abuse allegedly continued throughout the summer and the victim's senior year. 

The victim told police that Scavito used coded texts and phone calls that alluded to sexual activity, while requesting all messages be deleted following their conversations. 

“We have seen this type of sexual assault by someone in a position of trust far too often," said Willistown Police Chief John M. Narcise in a news release. "Based upon this defendant’s behavior and law enforcement’s experience, we are concerned there may be other victims. We encourage anyone with additional information to come forward.” 

Scavito is being held at Chester County Prison on $250,000 bail. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Willistown Police Det. Sergeant Jeff Heim at 610-251-0222.