CNHI News Service
HAVERHILL, Mass. — A 32-year-old voice teacher in this Boston suburb is accused of raping a 14-year-old student and getting her pregnant, and investigators say they are now digging through thousands of sexually explicit text messages to identify another possible victim.
Joshua Garsteck appeared in court Wednesday, where a judge set bail at $50,000.
Police said they began an investigation earlier this year after being notified by the Department of Children and Families about a voice teacher allegedly having sex with a pupil, who was several months pregnant.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick said in court Wednesday that text messages between Garsteck and the victim were "graphic and sexual."
"I know we're familiar with the term 'sexting,' but I suggest that 'sexting' is a gross understatement for the content of the defendant's text messages," she said. "They truly shock the conscience that an adult would text such graphic details to a child."
Police charged Garsteck with aggravated rape of a child. Additional charges of impeding a police investigation are pending.
According to prosecutors, the text messages suggested the girl and Garsteck had a sexual relationship that started at the beginning of the year.
Strasnick said the investigation also showed that Garsteck was having online sexual conversations with another juvenile girl.
"There are thousands of text messages between this defendant and this child," Strasnick said. "There are text messages between this defendant and the child's mother, and there are text messages between this defendant and what appears to be another juvenile, who is in the process of being identified."
Garsteck was a voice instructor with the DeAngelis Studio of Music in Haverhill and the victim was a student.
Nancy Burger, co-owner of DeAngelis Studio, said Garsteck taught on a contract basis but is no longer with the studio.
"We are very concerned about the allegation, and we are cooperating with police," Burger said.
Strasnick said that when Garsteck became aware of the investigation, he showed up at the police station to try to clear his name.
Police said he denied having a romantic relationship with the girl. He also told police he had a relationship with the victim's family, which included sharing family holidays, taking trips to the beach and seeing movies with the girl's mother.
The report said investigators asked Garsteck to take a DNA test to eliminate him from suspicion but he refused.
Details for this story were reported by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.