A New York man, who worked as an athletic trainer in a school, was arrested Saturday and charged with raping a minor.
Austin J. Pratt, 30, who was primarily employed by UR Medicine Thompson Health as an athletic trainer and contracted out to the Geneseo Central School District, was charged with third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act. Apart from those felony charges, he was additionally indicted with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the police, Pratt allegedly had a sexual encounter with a child, aged less than 17 years, on Dec. 31, 2018, within the village of Geneseo. The exact location or the nature of the encounter was not revealed, as an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“As this is an active police investigation, the Geneseo Central School District will not be making any further public comment regarding this matter at this time,” the school’s superintendent, Tim Hayes, told the Livingston County News. “The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance and all reports of any kind are treated seriously. Support will be available for any students in need of assistance.”
Pratt, who was assigned to the district by F.F. Thompson Health Systems Inc., and had been employed at the school for several years, was “fully cooperating” with the state police investigation, officials said, adding that the accused was linked to only a single incident of inappropriate behavior.
A New York athletic trainer was charged with third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act. In this representational image, pupils wait for the start of the first written test in philosophy at a school in Paris, June 15, 2017. Photo: Getty Images/ Martin Bureau
“At this time, we have no reason to believe Pratt was involved in other instances of inappropriate behavior,” according to a statement from UR Medicine Thompson Health.
After graduating from Livonia Central School, Pratt earned a degree in athletic training from Alfred University in 2010. He went on to receive his personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.
Pratt, like all athletic trainers, was tasked with providing treatment and rehabilitation to injured athletes and attending home athletic events. In 2015, he coordinated a summer sports camp at Geneseo Central School for three weeks.
He was remanded to the police custody on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond after being arraigned at Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part of Livingston County Jail on Sunday. The victim, whose name was not released, was given police protection.
The news comes a few days after a substitute middle school teacher in Fairfield, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly “masturbating in a classroom while students were present.” Tracey J. Abraham, 41, was charged with public indecency, following an alleged incident that took place recently at Creekside Middle School.
“Students reported suspicious behavior by the teacher that was taking place behind his desk. Once the administration at Creekside Middle School was made aware of this behavior, the school resource officer immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and building,” Fairfield City School District wrote on its Facebook page in an extensive statement regarding the incident.