Former Northwest Arkansas educator pleads guilty to sexually touching teen girls

Northwest Arkansas News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A former Fayetteville and Springdale Public Schools educator pleaded guilty to sexual assault Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Dr. Mark Oesterle, 49, of Fayetteville, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault according to Courtney Cassidy, deputy prosecuting attorney for Washington County.

Dr. Mark Oesterle, 49, of Fayetteville pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault.

Back in March 2019, Oesterle was arrested on a warrant stemming from a 2015 complaint by a student.

The warrant from 2019 for Oesterle states that in 2015 Oesterle sexually assaulted young teens who were students at a school he worked at and was later charged with three counts of sexual assault. 

  • Count 1: Oesterle touched the breast of the alleged victim.
  • Count 2: Oesterle engaged in sexual contact with a minor on, or about, October 2015.  The alleged victim was 14 years old and a student at the school where he worked.
  • Count 3: Oesterle engaged in sexual contact with a minor on, or about, August or September 2015.  The alleged victim was 14 years old and a student at the school where he worked.

These are Class B felonies that carry 5-20 years in the penitentiary and/or up-to a $15,000 fine. He resigned from his position with Fayetteville Public Schools later that month.

According to the plea agreement, Oesterle’s other two counts were dropped, but the one charge includes all three victims.

He was sentenced to six years probation and fined $1,000. Oesterle was also ordered to have no contact with the victims and must register as a sex offender.

In April 2019, Oesterle was arrested for misdemeanor harassment and found guilty in June 2019 in Fayetteville district court. Fayetteville Judge William A. Storey found Osterle guilty of the charge and sentenced him to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, plus court fees, and appealed, according to court records.

According to the Washington County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Oesterle’s appeal on the harassment case was dropped as a result of the sexual assault guilty plea.

Oesterle was previously an assistant principal at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale from 2015-16. Before that, he was an assistant principal at Har-Ber High School from 2014-15.

He was first hired by Fayetteville Public Schools in 2016 and then promoted to director of secondary education in 2017 until his resignation.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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