HANOVER TWP. — An assistant softball coach for a travel team in Lackawanna County charged Monday with having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl can only attend juvenile sport events as a spectator.
Charles Steven Kearney, 52, of Capouse Avenue, Scranton, surrendered Monday after an investigation by state police at Wyoming alleging he had a nearly year-long sexual relationship with the girl, including at locations in Luzerne County.
During his arraignment before District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township, Kearney was advised not to have any contact with minors and not to participate with any juvenile sports events.
Kearney asked if he can attend his daughter’s softball game, to which Halesey responded only as a spectator. Kearney was released on $25,000 unsecured bail on charges of statutory sexual assault, sexual assault by a sports official, indecent assault and corruption of minors.
Kearney is an assistant coach with the Lackawanna Lightning softball club, a girls travel team.
According to the criminal complaint:
State police began an investigation in early March when the girl’s father questioned his daughter about how much time she had been spending with Kearney. The father said he discovered disturbing text messages on his daughter’s phone.
Kearney and the girl exchanged multiple text messages on Facebook Messenger.
The girl allegedly told her father she was having a consensual relationship with Kearney and the relationship began in July.
Investigators interviewed the girl, allegedly learning she met “Chuck” often at the “Millie,” an isolated area consisting of hiking paths and waterfalls in Ashley. While exploring the paths, she claimed Kearney would kiss and hug her.
The girl estimated she first had sex with Kearney in late July or early August on a ledge in the isolated area. She also claimed they had sex in her house, in Kearney’s vehicle or Kearney would take her to his house in Scranton.
She further alleged she often met Kearney while skiing at Montage Mountain and last had sex with him in early March after skiing.
Investigators interviewed Kearney on March 12, when he identified himself as an assistant coach with the travel softball team. He allegedly acknowledged to knowing the girl from softball and would ski with her three or four times a week.
Kearney teared up and was on the verge of breaking down when told by investigators there was a claim of sexual assault against him.
Kearney’s attorney, Kurt Lynott, denied comment after the arraignment.