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A now-fired Louisiana schoolteacher will serve no prison time after pleading guilty to kissing one of his 8th-grade students on the mouth multiple times over several months.
Matthew Nesser, 37, was arrested in the spring of 2018 following allegations that he’d been pursuing a romantic relationship with one of his 8th-grade social studies students, according to an arrest warrant acquired by NOLA.com. The student, who was 14 when the alleged advances began, told police that Nesser had first kissed her while she was helping him grade papers in his classroom. She said the bell rang shortly after he “pecked” her on the lips, at which point she quickly left the room.
Nesser’s advances allegedly worsened over the next several months, according to the warrant. The girl said he kissed her “several more times,” and was soon giving her more than just pecks on the lips.
The student claimed that at one point Nesser asked her to stay in his room after class, which she refused. About 10 minutes into her following class, Nesser allegedly showed up and told the girl's teacher she needed help with a class project. He allegedly brought her back to his classroom and kissed her for over a minute, according to the warrant.
The girl told police that Nesser would sometimes rub her back while they kissed, at times under her shirt. She said that he never touched her anywhere else.
Nesser, who is married, allegedly told the girl he loved her and talked about them being together when they got older, local station WDSU-6 reports. He also allegedly bought her chocolates, cards, and jewelry for her birthday and Valentine’s Day. She said he’d “get mad at her” if she told her parents about the relationship.
The girl also said Nesser cried in front of her several times and told her he only wanted her to be happy, local outlet WVUE reports. She said she told him what she thought he wanted to hear.
The girl’s mother called the police in April 2018, and Nesser was arrested and charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile, NOLA.com reports. He was soon released on a $12,500 bond.
Nesser struck a plea deal, pleading guilty on Nov. 5 to contributing to the delinquency of a minor and malfeasance in a public job, NOLA.com reports. He was sentenced to three years probation and banned from teaching for life. He also must undergo counseling.
Nesser’s attorney, Joseph Raspanti, told Oxygen.com over the phone that the girl’s parents had pursued a civil case before calling the police. That case has since been resolved.
“My client has always maintained his innocence in this matter and chose to resolve the criminal and civil components of it so that he and his family can get on with their lives,” he said.
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