Teacher in Willistown arrested for sexually assaulting student
● By J. Chambless
This week, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of Matthew Scavitto for institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, and endangering the welfare of children.
The defendant was a teacher at the Phelps School at the time of the offenses. The victim attended the Phelps School as a full-time boarding student at the time of the assaults.
First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone stated, “This is another example of a person in a position of trust grooming a victim and abusing that trust. This defendant manipulated a student who he was responsible for teaching and coaching.”
Willistown Police Chief John M. Narcise stated, “We have seen this type of sexual assault by someone in a position of trust far too often. 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.”
Scavitto, 31, lived in an apartment on the Phelps School campus in Malvern. He worked at the Phelps School as a teacher, coach, and dorm supervisor. The defendant was immediately fired by the Phelps School and the school is cooperating fully with law enforcement.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 8, 2015, the Willistown Police Department interviewed a victim who was sexually abused when he was a student at the Phelps School from 2011 until 2014. The victim became very good friends with the defendant who was a teacher, the victim’s coach, and a dorm supervisor. The victim reported that in the beginning of May 2013, the defendant began to sexually assault the victim. The victim was 17 at the time. The defendant sexually abused the victim at the defendant’s on-campus apartment. The abuse continued through the summer of 2013 while both were at a camp in New Hampshire and throughout the victim’s senior year at the Phelps School.
The victim reported that the defendant would communicate via cell phone and text messages and would use code words referencing sexual activity. The defendant also instructed the victim to erase all text messages immediately after the conversations.
Scavitto is incarcerated at Chester County Prison on $250,000 bail.
First Assistant District Attorney Noone added, “Anyone with information should come forward to the police so that the defendant can be held fully accountable. It is important for parents to have straightforward conversations with their children to determine if there are any other victims.”
This case was investigated by the Willistown Police Department. Anyone with further information should contact Willistown Police Detective Sergeant Jeff Heim at 610-251-0222.