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Former Fayetteville Schools Administrator Accused of Sexually Assaulting Student

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A former Fayetteville School District administrator is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student.

Mark Oesterle, 46, is charged in Washington County Circuit Court with three counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Mark Oesterle.

Oesterle, the former executive director of secondary education for the district, allegedly touched the girl's breast on different occasions in 2015, according to court documents.

Oesterly resigned his position on Thursday (March 28) afternoon. He had been on administrative leave since January.

The allegations don't involve Fayetteville students and occurred prior to his hiring, according to a school spokesman.

Oesterle previously worked for Springdale schools, serving as assistant principal at Har-Ber High School in 2014-15 and at Don Tyson School of Innovation in 2015-16. He joined the Fayetteville School District in 2016.

Springdale school officials said no charges were filed against Oesterle during his tenure in the district. Rick Schaeffer, district spokesman, said officials didn't learn of the allegations until Oesterle left the district.

"We have cooperated fully with the investigation that ensued after the allegations were made," Schaeffer said Friday (March 29).

Springdale police investigated the allegations and forwarded their case to the prosecutor's office, according to Lt. Jeff Taylor.

Further details weren't available due to the alleged victim being a juvenile, Taylor said.

Oesterle turned himself in to authorities Thursday evening.

He is free on a $25,000 bond and due in court April 3.

Judge Mark Lindsay on Tuesday (March 26) ordered Oesterle to have no contact with the girl.

In Arkansas, Second-degree sexual assault is a Class B felony, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.

The district was embroiled in another scandal last year involving the former superintendent.

Dr. Matthew Wendt was fired in June 2018 for making derogatory comments against a fellow employee and violating district policy.

Shae Lynn Newman, a Fayetteville teacher, had accused Wendt of sexual harassment in March 2018. Her lawyer, Suzanne Clark, later released a letter from Newman accusing Wendt of making unwanted sexual advances and threats toward her.

Earlier this month, a judge dismissed Wendt's wrongful termination suit against the district.

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