Superior Court upholds 80 year prison sentence for ex-coach

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Jonathan Masteller

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – A Kinzers man convicted of child sex abuse will get no relief from a sentence that could keep him behind bars for 80 years.

Jonathan D. Masteller, 25, was denied his appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, with the high court dismissing Masteller’s claim that a 25½-to-80-year prison sentence is excessive.

Masteller was head junior high boys’ basketball coach at Pequea Valley School District and a substitute teacher there, and director of youth programs at Gap Community Church, when the criminal abuse was discovered in 2013.

A pastor at the church discovered photos of Masteller and a young boy engaged in sex acts while performing maintenance on Masteller’s work computer.

Masteller pleaded guilty in 2014 to 12 counts of sexual abuse regarding the year-long cycle of crimes, beginning when the boy was 12.

Lancaster County Judge Joseph Madenspacher, now retired, ordered the sentence.

On appeal, Masteller argues that Madenspacher abused his discretion and didn’t consider Masteller’s rehabilitative needs.

The high court denied that argument in a 14-page opinion issued Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant District Attorney James Reeder, who prosecuted the case and responded to Masteller’s appeal, countered that the sentence should stand.

In the opinion, the appeals court notes the abuse only stopped because the pastor found the photos and intervened.

Judge Madenspacher’s ordering of consecutive sentences on some of the 12 counts was appropriate, the high court ruled.

“Masteller is not entitled to a volume discount for his crimes,” the opinion states.

Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Philip Strosser and Linda Gerow filed charges in December 2013.