Former LU swim coach charged with sex offenses

Andy Dolan

Former Lawrence swim team diving instructor, 40-year-old David Kaster, is currently being charged with eleven criminal counts in Brown and Marathon counties. The charges include five counts of sexual assault by a school instructor, three counts of fourth degree sexual assault, and two counts of child enticement (exposure of a sex organ) and one count of disorderly conduct.The charges were filed against Kaster earlier this year on February 13 and April 20 following alleged incidents involving students while he was a swim coach at Ashwaubenon High School from 1994 until he resigned in 2000. Lawrence then hired Kaster for the 2000-2001 school year as an assistant swim coach.

Kaster left Lawrence during second term following the public discovery of the charges. Three days after charges were first filed against Kaster in court, Kurt Kirner, head swimming coach at Lawrence, stated in an e-mail, “These charges are in no way connected to his employment at, or relations with, Lawrence University. I know very few details and was shocked to hear of this. I, as many of you probably do, hope that these allegations are not true.”

According to the Green Bay News-Chronicle, four former members of Kaster’s girls’ swim team claimed he had acted inappropriately toward them over a period of up to five years. These complaints show a pattern of “getting close” to the four girls through “personal talks, back rubs, gifts, and dinners.” The allegations presented in the News-Chronicle, however, did not stop here. It also reports that a woman, who is now 18-years-old, told police of an incident in 1999 that took place late one night, at approximately 1:45 a.m.

The News-Chronicle reports that Kaster had asked the girl to his home to watch a movie. When Kaster asked the girl to sit with him on the living room floor, the girl declined, stating that he was “a father figure to her.” Kaster then allegedly “put his arms around her, rubbed her shoulders and arms, and told her she was ‘pretty and dangerous’’. He then fondled her, at which point she resisted. The News-Chronicle reports that the girl was “in shock” and “couldn’t believe someone she trusted would do that.”

Several days after the incident, Kaster approached the girl regarding the situation. He asked her what she wanted “to do about the situation,” and she said she wanted “to forget about it.” He then told her the situation was “partly her fault,” according to the News-Chronicle.

Another incident, according to the News-Chronicle, occurred on September 24, 1999, when he allegedly took a 15-year-old girl on the swim team into the locker room and turned the lights off. She claimed he put his arms around her and spoke into her ear. She said she “felt uncomfortable.” He then told her that her father “was too hard on her, and he could take care of him for her.” The News-Chronicle reports that Kaster then continued speaking to her, asking her if she had a boyfriend and “how far she had gone with him.” Then he kissed her and said, “This is the way I do it with all of the other girls, and none of them have a problem with it.” She told Kaster that she “had a problem with it” and walked out.

Kaster’s court dates are currently scheduled on June 28th for a motion hearing, July 23rd for a final pre-trial, and July 25th for the jury trial. He is currently pleading not guilty on all charges.

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