A former Stoughton teacher and coach was charged Wednesday with sex crimes involving a child earlier this summer.
Online court records show 24-year-old Brandon M. Amato was charged in Dane County court with two felony counts of exposing genitals to a child.
Amato was in court Wednesday afternoon for an initial appearance where he was released on a signature bond and ordered not to access the Internet. He is also not allowed to have contact with girls younger than 18.
According to the criminal complaint, Amato sent two Stoughton High School students images of his penis through a popular picture messaging app called Snapchat. Amato allegedly first sent inappropriate Facebook messages to the girls, which led to communication via Snapchat.
Stoughton School District spokesman Derek Spellman confirmed Amato worked as a temporary teacher and coach in the district from August 2013 through June 10, 2014.
Online records said the first incident in connection with the felony charges occurred on June 29; a second incident allegedly occurred Aug. 2. Spellman said Amato was not working for the Stoughton district when the alleged incidents took place.
Amato taught social studies while with the Stoughton School District and coached freshman football, eighth-grade boys basketball and assisted coaching tennis, Spellman said.
Amato had been working for the Oregon School District as an assistant girls’ tennis coach for a few weeks before he was fired Wednesday, Superintendent Brian Busler said. Amato was placed on administrative leave Thursday after the district learned about the accusations in Stoughton. Amato was fired after the district obtained a copy of the criminal complaint Wednesday, Busler said.
“It was clear that Mr. Amato does not belong working with students in the Oregon School District, so we terminated him immediately,” Busler said.
Busler added the district performs a criminal background check on anyone working with children, including parent volunteers. He said the district’s athletic administrator sat down with the girls and coaches on the tennis team. So far, there have been no reported incidents in his district.
“Of course, if something comes forward, we're going to process and work our way through that, but to our knowledge, there's been no involvement with any Oregon School District students,” Busler said.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Educator Licensing Online database, Amato's teaching license has been listed as "under investigation" as of Wednesday.
“It underscores the importance of parents knowing what their kids' devices are, who they're communicating with, and constantly being in touch with their young kids to make sure that everyone is safe,” Busler said.
Stoughton High School parents were notified of the case involving Amato via email Wednesday afternoon.