School Closings & Delays

Alleged Sex Abuse Victim Testifies Against Former Teacher

SCRANTON — A high school band teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student inside the school last year was back in court Wednesday.

Matthew Stevens is still suspended from his position as a music teacher, and banned from the grounds of Lakeland High School where he worked. He was charged last month. And, with his family filling a courtroom in downtown Scranton, he heard the allegations against him straight from the source.

A young woman, now an 18-year-old college freshman, testified in a hearing about the sexual relationship she had with Stevens when she was underage and a Senior here Lakeland High near Montdale.

She testified that she and Stevens would have sexual contact in storage closets and offices at the school more times than she could count.

A story that Stevens denies, according to his attorney.

“If it were truly 30 minutes, three times a week, for a period of up to 9 months, I would think there would be a lot of people who noticed something wrong, other teachers would notice something wrong, other students would notice something wrong,” said defense attorney Joseph Caraciolo.

In the hearing, the woman spoke about her first sexual encounter with Stevens where she said other students forced them into a drum closet and locked them inside.

Prosecutors said even if others at Lakeland knew about the alleged relationship, it’s irrelevant. And, that story only shows Stevens may have had inappropriate contact with more students.

“I believe our investigation and our case at the appropriate time will show that he has, in fact, crossed that line and really abused that position of trust that he was in,” said Deputy Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McCambridge.

“This case is a she said versus he said, and it’s based on a false allegation,” added Attorney Caraciolo.

Matthew Stevens’ attorney said he has every intention of letting a jury decide who’s telling the truth.

That trial would likely be scheduled for later on this year.

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