EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 14, 2014

Music school owners indicted on charges of child endangerment

(Continued)

When contacted for comment yesterday by The Eagle-Tribune, Nancy Berger said she wanted an opportunity to consult with a lawyer first.

In September, police visited the music school and advised owner Michael DeAngelis of an open criminal investigation into Garsteck’s alleged inappropriate conduct with female students, according to the police report.

DeAngelis denied any direct knowledge of inappropriate behavior by Garsteck but did say that “just this week” a female student had come to him to say Garsteck made inappropriate comments to her, the report stated.

Police said DeAngelis subsequently hired a lawyer and terminated Garsteck’s contract with the school pending the outcome of the investigation. DeAngelis was provided no details as to the specifics of the investigation or the victim, police said.

Police suggested to DeAngelis and his lawyer that the school take some measures to notify students and parents of the concerns that were raised. A student list was requested from them, but they refused to provide one, police said.

Garsteck, a Pennsylvania native, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court in October 2013 on the charge of rape of a child.

He was subsequently indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Nov. 27, 2013. He was arraigned Jan. 9 in Essex Superior Court in Salem on charges of one count of rape of a child, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, two counts of disseminating obscene matter to a minor and witness intimidation (misleading a police investigation). A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

Judge John Lu imposed the same conditions of release that were imposed in Haverhill District Court: $50,000 cash bail, GPS monitoring, 24/7 house arrest, no contact with victim and witnesses, staying away from all children 18 and under and no Internet or electronic device use. Court officials said Garsteck had previously posted bail, but remains confined to his home per Judge Lu’s order. Garsteck was represented by attorney Michael Manzi of Lowell.

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