Glenville police charged the volunteer assistant coach for the Scotia-Glenville Varsity Field Hockey team today, Sept. 29, for having sexual contact with a 15-year-old student at Scotia-Glenville High School.
David Kennedy, 50, of Harlau Drive, Glenville, faces eight charges for having sexual contact with the female student, which are the felony charges of two counts of rape in the third degree and four counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree, with the misdemeanor charge of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Susan Swartz, superintendent of Scotia-Glenville Central School District, and Glenville police Chief Michael Ranalli released information during a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 29, about a phone call they received from a mother on Monday, Sept. 27.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl had discovered questionable text messages on her phone, which immediately lead her to question her daughter, which led to some revelations of inappropriate contact between herself and an adult, said Ranalli. `All of the charges are based upon the fact that she is under 17 and he is over 21 years of age.
Ranalli said he would not get into the details of the text messages, but they `indicated a caring relationship.` Kennedy had been seeing the girl for several months, said Ranalli.
The relationship developed independent of the school connection, said Ranalli, before Kennedy became a coach at the school. There is no indication currently that there are any other victims.
`These are two families and at the center of those families are children,` said Swartz. `We are not going to give you any information about the victim.`
This evening, said Swartz, Principal Lynda Castronovo and Altheltic Director John Geniti are going to meet with parents and players of the field hockey team to share the information about the arrest and the school’s crisis team has been made available for students.
Kennedy has coached the field hockey team since the fall, but he previously was involved with the community-based Lady Tartans Field Hockey Club program. He also has two children attending the high school now.
`At Scotia we consider our self a community, we’re small, we are not a large school,` said Swartz. `Here you are faced with people you know, children you know, friends and folks whose homes you’ve been in; those things can be very, very disturbing for children to deal with. They don’t have our adult ability to wrap their minds about that.`
All of the district coaches are cleared through the state education department and Kennedy’s background check was cleared before appointed to his position at the school, said Swartz.
`Folks need to understand and know that people in your school’s can be trusted that these are abnormal or less recurrent types of things,` said Swartz. `I’ve been here six years and this is the first time I have dealt with this particular type of incident.`
Swartz said children can have the knowledge of right and wrong, but that doesn’t mean they have developed the emotionally capability to apply the knowledge to situations.
`There is a legal fixture there that a person under the age of 17 years old can not consent to such behavior and this is the perfect case of way,` said Ranalli. `Unfortunately, there are no shortage of people who are willing to try and to continue to violate that and take advantage of the people that aren’t capable of making the sound decisions.“