Borghesani gets jail time for corruption of minors charge
On Nov. 30, Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach sentenced David Borghesani, a former Whitehall High School music teacher, to three to 23 months in the community corrections center, to be followed by three years of probation, for corruption of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor. He will also be evaluated to determine if he is considered a sexual predator, Banach said.
The sentencing marks the end of an investigation that started Oct. 10, 2016, with a call from the Whitehall-Coplay School Board’s attorney to the Whitehall police, based on a parent complaint that Borghesani was allegedly engaged in appropriate communications with a student at the high school.
Borghesani resigned his teaching position in February and turned in his certificate. He moved away from the area and is reportedly employed at a church near Philadelphia.
During the investigation, conducted by both Whitehall police and the Lehigh County district attorney’s office, Borghesani acknowledged he sent inappropriate pictures of himself over Snapchat to three students who were minors at the time.
He pleaded guilty in October to corruption of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Snapchat is a social media platform that allows a message to be sent but then disappears after 10 seconds. There is no record of the message after it has disappeared.
According to two of the teenage girls who testified at the sentencing hearing, the contact with Borghesani was casual and friendly when he first initiated the social media contact. After a time, they testified, the contacts became more sexually oriented with pictures passed to the girls. In at least one instance, they said, a nude picture was returned by one of the girls.
Borghesani confessed to sending the pictures, but they no longer exist.
Both parties alleged that no physical contact took place.
The students were reportely part of Borghesani’s music and theater group.
The girls who testified said they were surprised at the animosity directed at them when Borghesani’s unwanted communication was reported.
“We were called sluts, accused of damaging the theater production and causing harm to the teacher,” one of the victims testified.
The reaction of their peers was emotionally upsetting and remains with them to this day, they said.
“I learned a lot about who my friends were,” one of the girls said.
Banach, as part of the pre-sentencing guidelines, received 27 letters of support stressing Borghesani’s character and the good he did as a teacher and a mentor. Borghesani’s mother and father stood beside him at the sentencing. Before sentencing, both parents made statements on the strength of their son’s character, saying he was ashamed he made this mistake.
Banach criticized Borghesani’s father’s comments because he did not address the severity of the case. This was more than just inappropriate communication, she said — nude pictures had been exchanged. She added she suspected, after reading the commendation letters, Borghesani told his friends about only inappropriate conversations.
She did ask Borghesani, after his emotional plea for leniency, why he did not see the risk that he could lose everything he worked for and his future.
After the hearing, Borghesani was taken into custody.