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Indian Trail High School Orchestra Teacher Charged For Sex Crimes With Student, Held On $30,000 Bail

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Nathan R. Gardner (27) of Racine, WI Appears In Court Today For Bail Hearing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

An Indian Trail High School orchestra teacher is holding on a $30,000 cash bail after being charged with five serious sex crimes. Nathan R. Gardner, 27, of Racine was charged today with posession of child pornography, child enticement, two counts of exposing a child to harmful material, and one count of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Gardner faces a maximum sentence of almost 100 years in the Wisconsin Prison system if convicted of all charges. He also faces a minimum sentence of eight years in prison if convicted.

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Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Smathers In Court Today
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“The state is requesting a $75,000 cash bond…These charges are extremely serious. They carry with [them] extreme penalties. Two of the charges themselves are mandatory minimums, which means if convicted, he would serve at least three to five years of initial confinement. The state believes that alone is concern that the defendant is a flight risk and may not come back to court,” said ADA Alexandra Smathers.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel II
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel II set Gardner’s bail at $30,000 and ordered him to stay away from the victim, the high school and the internet.

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Nathan R. Gardner (27) of Racine, WI Appears In Court Today For Bail Hearing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

According to the criminal complaint:

On October 26, 2023, a Kenosha Police Officer was notified of a potential sex crime involving a staff member at Indian Trail High School in Kenosha. The staff member was identified as the orchestra teacher Nathan Gardner. The officer made contact with a teacher who said she was approached by two of her students who wished to report that their minor friend, “Freddy”, was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teacher at the school.

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The students didn’t know all of the details, but they told the teacher that Freddy and Gardner met on the “hook-up” site “Grindr.” According to its website, Grindr is the world’s largest “social networking app” for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. They knew that Freddy and Gardner exchanged nude photos and had some sexual contact when Freddy was 14 or 15 years old during his freshman year.

A Kenosha Police detective started an investigation, but learned that the crimes occurred in the Village of Somers. He handed off the case to veteran Detective Daniel Bella with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. Bella is a part of the Sheriff’s Department’s sensitive crime division and has a very high conviction rate.

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Nathan R. Gardner (27) of Racine, WI
(Kenosha Sheriff)

Detective Bella eventually interviewed the alleged victim, Freddy. He disclosed that in the fall of his Freshman year, which was in 2021 when he was 14-15 years old, he downloaded Grindr and created an account which indicated he was 18 years old and included a photo of himself. When men would message him, Freddy would tell them that he was 14/15 years old and they would stop talking to him. However, at one point, an adult male profile without a photograph messaged Freddy. This profile was later determined to be Gardner’s.

Freddy told the Defendant he was 16 years old and Gardner continued to message Freddy. After a while, Gardner asked Freddy for his Snapchat username, which Freddy provided and their communication moved to Snapchat. On Snapchat, Freddy disclosed that he was actually 15 years old. Gardner asked where he went to school and Freddy told him ITA. Gardner then stated that he was 18 years old and a senior at ITA. When Freddy asked the Defendant what his name was, the Defendant told him “Steven Clark.” Gardner never sent Freddy photos of his face.

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Nathan R. Gardner (27) of Racine, WI Appears In Court Today For Bail Hearing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The two of them eventually began sexting and sharing explicit images. Freddy sent Gardner pictures of himself clothed and nude, including photographs of Freddy’s penis (child pornography). Gardner also sent photographs of himself clothed and nude, including photographs of Gardner’s penis. When Freddy would send nude photographs of himself, Gardner would save these photographs, which detectives know to be a visible notification on Snapchat. When asked about identifying characteristics of Gardner’s body, Freddy knew the Defendant had a tattoo on his thigh.

As far as explicit messages, Freddy stated that he and Gardner would chat about sexual acts and discuss doing those acts with each other, including oral and anal intercourse. Throughout the course of these conversations, the Gardner told Freddy that his name wasn’t “Steven Clark,” but was in fact “Nick.”

In the Spring Semester of 2022, when Freddy was still 15 years old, Freddy provided Gardner his address and asked Gardner to bring him some ice cream from McDonalds. Gardner got Freddy ice cream and drove to Freddy’s house, making sure to park out of view. Freddy went outside and got into Gardner’s vehicle, which Freddy described as a white SUV. Freddy stated that while in the car, they talked for a bit and kissed. This was the one and only time they met in person outside of school. Freddy stated that they did see each other a few times at ITA and talked briefly. It should be noted that Gardner’s classroom at ITA was located in a portion of the building that only students who are in band, orchestra or choir would utilize. Freddy did not take any of those elective classes, which explains why Freddy and Gardner rarely saw each other or ran into each other at school.

Sometime after this face-to-face meeting, Freddy asked Gardner if his name was “Nicholas” and Gardner told him it was “Nathan.” Freddy then asked for the first letter of his last name, and Gardner said “G.” Freddy then obtained his freshman yearbook and began to look at all the “Nathan’s and all the students with a last name starting with “G.” He compared these with a photograph he had saved of Gardner’s partial face, which Gardner sent him via Snapchat. Freddy didn’t find any matches for Gardner in the student section, but kept looking. Eventually, Freddy came across the orchestra teacher “Nathan Gardner” and immediately recognized him as the guy who brought him ice cream and whom Freddy kissed. Freddy immediately confronted Gardner on social media about him being a teacher, but Gardner brushed it off and attempted to continue normal conversation. Freddy unfriended Gardner from his social media accounts.

During Freddy’s Sophomore year, between 2022-2023, Freddy transferred from ITA to another high school and the two of them began messaging again. Freddy stated that it began by Gardner asking Freddy not to tell anyone about what had occurred between the two of them. Freddy told Gardner he would not. As the two of them began messaging again, Freddy began to have feelings for Gardner again. Freddy stated that he got past the fact that Gardner was a teacher.

The two of them then began sexting and sending explicit photographs back and forth again. When Freddy would send Gardner an explicit photograph, Gardner would once again save them. If Freddy asked Gardner to “unsave” the photographs, he would. By the end of Freddy’s Sophomore year, the sexting and sending of explicit images stopped, and they just had normal conversations.

During Freddy’s Junior year, beginning in the Fall of 2023, Gardner continued to message Freddy. Freddy would sometimes respond, but most of the time he would not even open the messages from Gardner. Gardner also attempted to re-add Freddy as a friend on his social media accounts. Freddy showed this to his friend and told his friend that it was the teacher Freddy had been talking to. It should be noted that Gardner was employed as a teacher at ITHSA during the entire time Freddy was in communication with him.

On November 7, 2023, Detective Bella, along with other law enforcement officers, took Gardner into custody at his home in Racine, Wisconsin. On his person was his cell phone, which was seized along with other electronics within the home. Also present was Gardner’s partner. Detective Bella contacted the Kenosha County Jail after Gardner was booked. Gardner disclosed during the booking process that he has a tattoo on his right thigh.

Gardner is due back in court on November 16, 2023 for a preliminary hearing. Gardner is on administrative leave from KUSD.

*On 11/13/2023 @ 10:37 a.m.(CST), two photos of Garder were removed for clerical reasons.*

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64 Responses

  1. Kevin releases two major local news stories and the liberal rag called the “Kenosha News” only runs one on the front page of their website? Why is that? I think we know why. Thanks for reporting the truth Kevin, parents are fed up with the public school system and the constant liberal indoctrination.

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    1. Or because this is a rush to judgement per usual. Especially on this site. As to why true news through a true legal lens doesn’t blast these things within a day, it is to protect victims by over exposing an alleged perpetrator, by limiting the details of the investigation, to preserve that investigation. (Go ahead, delete this as you normally do with anyone who is respectful and disagrees with you)

  2. Looks like all the people objecting to KUSD giving books to other people’s children that have instructions on how to use Grindr were correct after all. If KUSD employees object to being called groomers, maybe they should stop acting like groomers.

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    1. Liberal run school districts are the perfect breeding grounds for sexual predators consumed with this despicable behavior.
      Abolish Teacher Unions
      Abolish Public Schools

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      1. So where are all the students gonna go who can’t afford private school or can’t get to a charter school due to the lack of transportation? What you as parents need to do is teach us children at a young age what grooming is and how we can protect ourselves from child predators and pedophiles

        1. Actually unlike these ridiculous God fearing Republicans… I am apart of today’s youth and I know what’s happening in it… it’s not because we got to public school it’s because men like to think with their dick and not their heads

      1. Did it ever occur to you that this is because “99%” of the wider population are straight?
        Figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure.
        No easier way to distort the truth than by citing “figures”

  3. This is the garbage that comes along with the acceptance of pornography and the promotion of LGBTQ ideology and gay clubs in the KUSD schools. Just continue normalizing this behavior and pretty soon it will be difficult to find teaching staff, coaches, and guidance counselors who are not predators. This scum of the earth pervert does not belong out on bail and I really hope he gets the 100 years in the general population of his prison. I also hope the other inmates know what type of crime he is in for. He is a pretty boy and should be very popular.

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    1. 1) It’s not because of gay clubs in schools, it’s because white men think they cam get away with anything and just have a slap on the wrist.
      2) Clubs like GSA help us as students have a voice and talk about the struggles we go through as teens in the LGBT community.
      3) teachers should go through many background and social media checks before getting a job to work with children, but they don’t because the admin don’t think it’s necessary, yet within the school being open 6 teacher have been arrested for having sexual contact with students… most of them being men… let that sink in

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    1. Your right… and so should rapists but here we are 2023 and it’s still 97% of women… the sad part is that “freddy” knew gardner was a teacher and became okay with it instead of reporting him sooner… gardner could have done this with many other minors we just don’t know..

      1. Yes. Freddy’s fault. Seriously? How many other victims were there? Not by Freddy’s doing, the PEDOPHILE teachers doing.

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        1. It wasn’t Freddy’s fault… but Freddy knew better as well… Gardner is a sick and twisted man and Freddy has been through hell the last 3 years… I hope Freddy is safe and it getting the care he needs…

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  4. Was my favorite teacher of all time to have, would have never expected this. Despite his alleged actions, this literally has nothing to do with the lgbtq+ community and shame on you who are saying it is. This shouldn’t be a ploy to broadcast how homophobic and uninclusive you are. Shame on you who have done so. Straight people are convicted to these crimes all the time and nobody says anything about their sexuality, but when its a gay person we have to highlight that he’s gay constantly? So. What. Focus on the aleeged crime not about your own weird agenda.

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    1. Shame on you for missing the point. This man preyed on a child. This article isn’t about LGBTQ#*@$, get out of your echo chamber. KCE has posted several articles about KUSD sexual predators that are straight!

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      1. Yeah but the previous article about this dude has nothing but hate propaganda and homophobic comments, so the original posters point still stands.
        While what this dude did is abhorred and inexcusable, we cant take a whole group of people and assume them to be pedophiles just cause they identify as lgbtq+.

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      2. The libtards created this new “fad” amongst today’s youth where they think it’s cool to be homosexual, trans, bi, tri, LGBCDEFGHI+ or whatever they want to call it. They promote EVERYTHING that destroys the normal family life. I read about this new rightsizing strategy KUSD is implementing due to the declining student enrollment. Keep it up libbies, before you know it, there will be even less procreation. Then teachers can cry all they want, they are part of the problem by enabling this nonsense in today’s society.

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        1. What is normal family life? Two God fearing Christians as parents who teach their children that it’s bad to be who you are? And that you “have to save the sinners”? Normal is a social construct that white men made up because they wanted to be in control… and honestly you child might be gay and if your not okay with that keep it in your pants and please shut you mouth 😁😁

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        2. Also we think it’s cool for our families to disown and abuse us? We think is cool to be discriminated against again and again? Right it’s so cool… like dude your probably 40 and living in your moms basement… like we have more pressing matters the boy who kiss boy and girls who kiss girls like act like an adult and guess what if we stop pro creating we stop making assholes like you for the world… #suckstosuckandyoukeeponsucking

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        3. This is a joke. Read a book. I don’t care what you believe but don’t come at a whole party for something and in another breath yell it’s a liberal issue while you cheer for trump and him being a rapist. At least don’t be a hypocrite. Agree to disagree sure but don’t come at a whole party for something while you support people who rape people. Be consistent at the minimum.

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  5. One glance at him with his painted-on pants in a room full of children, tells me that they have a dress code problem…

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    1. Says the hell who? Insecure about something? I mean from your name on here, seems like you’re just fine with gay men as long as it’s through a Wall. Probably should explore some self awareness and look towards being more honest with yourself

      1. The issue is I’m actually relieved when I’m in a room with a gay man rather then a straight one… I’m scared to walk on the sidewalk by myself when a man is behind me, peoples sexuality isn’t the issues is white men feel they can get away with anything… because if this were a man of color y’all wouldnt be on here acting like children blaming the LGBT community
        #whiteprivilege

  6. I felt so betrayed when I hear about this. I was in summer orchestra and I thought he was comedic and fun to have around. Then this happened… I was shocked to find out by this article. I hope he can really learn not to make this mistake again. And for the whole district take drastic action to do background checks for safety of the students. And to let students speak up about any kind of assault because Justice will always be serve even if there is injustice.

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  7. This is such a disappointment. As a parent who trusted him while my 11 yo child had private orchestra lessons with him sickens me. My other child had him as a teacher for 3 years and even attended the Disney World trip with him. Trying to help two kids who not only trusted him, but liked him as a person is hard. The feeling of betrayal and utter sadness is hard to witness. Shocked is an understatement.

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  8. But when somebody stops the pedos before they’re able to actually physically abuse children nobody wants to say anything about it then. The only reason anybody got in trouble was because he met with the kid. Ita sucks and so does the justice system.

  9. I don’t get these teachers. They always find out if you’ve been doing something inappropriate with a studeny and then you are fucked….even if it happened ten years ago.

  10. Oh my god, I had Gardener in 6th grade for summer orchestra. He was always really weird and i honestly knew something was off, obviously i couldnt say anything sense i had no proof he was anything more than an odd soul. I aint even surprised after seeing this.

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  11. KUSD “Pedos” of the Year (and counting)…
    Joseph Pitts, Jr. (D)
    Melvin Tart (D)
    Michael Russell (D)
    “Monte” Nelson, Sr. (D)
    Nathan R. Gardner (D)

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  12. What is normal family life? Two God fearing Christians as parents who teach their children that it’s bad to be who you are? And that you “have to save the sinners”? Normal is a social construct that white men made up because they wanted to be in control… and honestly you child might be gay and if your not okay with that keep it in your pants and please shut you mouth 😁😁

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  13. Both my parents are orchestra teachers in KUSD, so I knew him. We’d say hi to each other whenever we saw each other, and I had him for summer orchestra two years ago. What really sucks is that I thought he was cool. He was a really great teacher, and I really enjoyed being taught by him. It breaks my heart to see all of these hate comments saying that he should die for what he’s done and that he’s “scum of the earth” (quoting an earlier comment). I’m not saying, by any means, that what he did was okay. No way is it okay. But just to find that out when you really appreciated and respected that person is just heartbreaking.

  14. wow. he was my favorite orchestra teacher that ive had, and it hurts to find out he’s a pedo. i always knew something was off, because 2 years ago we had a pool party after summer orchestra and he would always stare at the girls, especially the ones in revealing swimsuits

  15. It’s grinders fault. I can’t even buy crypto without a DL registration check so why can’t apps with a minimum age requirement verify identity and age.

  16. ITA also let go an IT assistant last year for issues with female students. He was not to be alone with students but the school turned a blind eye. KUSD needs to start doing psychological tests for teachers. May weed out the bad ones.

  17. you guys are missing the point. it doesn’t matter that he’s gay. it has nothing to do with that. it has to do with the fact that he made a choice to cheat and now he’s facing the consequences. grow up and put your bigoted opinions aside for once.

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