Pasquale Mecca, of Diaz Street, Stamford, was charged Monday afternoon with fourth-degree sexual assault and three counts of risk of injury to a minor. He was released on $25,000 bond and is due in court April 12.
An investigation began when the girl’s guardian questioned her about having large amounts of cash, said police Lt. James Matheny; the girl said she was paid by Mecca for her underwear.
The exchanges took place on and off school grounds, during school hours and when school was not in session, police said. Mecca allegedly bought the girl’s underwear at least three times for varying amounts of money. Police did not disclose how much he paid.
“For a 15-year-old kid it seemed like a lot of money,” Matheny said.
Investigators took statements from the girl, her guardian and Mecca, who admitted he bought girl’s underwear and had improper physical contact with her on at least one occasion.
Police are urging anyone with information about the allegations or similar, unreported incidents to come forward.
“We have one victim and one case right now, but once these things develop, there’s a possibility that we find out more,” Matheny said.
Mecca’s home was searched by police, who found several items related to the case. Matheny would not disclose the items, but said it was too early to tell whether they would play a role in the investigation.
Mecca was charged with fourth-degree sexual contact because he had improper physical contact with a person under age 18 while he was in a position of authority, not because of the degree of physical contact or whether it was consensual.
The charge is a felony offense when the victim is under 15 years old.
Sarah Arnold, the school district spokeswoman, said Mecca has been suspended from his job and is not allowed on Board of Education property.
His suspension is subject to an investigation by the school district, she said
Mecca became a school district employee in 2001, and worked as a security guard at Stamford High for his entire career except for a year when he worked as a teacher’s aide at Scofield Magnet Middle School in 2003.
Mecca has no record of prior discipline at Stamford High, Arnold said.
The investigation is ongoing and police urge anyone with more information to call the Stamford Police Department at 977-4639 or 977-4417.
The other security guard shot, William St. Peter, 54, was still in Miami Valley Hospital. His condition was not listed.
Police said Tuesday that the security guard wearing a protective vest during the shooting was in stable condition and expected to go home soon, while the other guard, shot in the torso, was taken to the hospital in critical condition and had undergone emergency surgery.
Christopher Beatty-Jones, the suspect in the shooting, which occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday, was taken into custody at his home at 3933 Prescott Ave. shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a felonious assault charge.
The guards were shot when questioning a passenger, Jodi Grigsby, in the vehicle Beatty-Jones had fled upon their approach. Beatty-Jones returned and fired five times at the officers, hitting each one of them once.
Just last week, on March 22, Grigsby and Beatty-Jones were together near the Summit Square Apartments when Grigsby was shot in the arm, according to a police report, which stated Beatty-Jones said he was there to buy $50 worth of marijuana when someone shot at their vehicle.
Investigators say 58-year-old Mark Hay, a teacher at Twin Lakes High School, allegedly fondled a female high school student at school from March 2007 through May 2009. Police say the victim was between the ages of 16 and 18 during that time.
“The charge in this case is one count of child seduction, Class D Felony,” said ISP Det. Jim Cody. “The allegations are that he touched and fondled a student in a sexual manner on school property during school hours.
Hay, a former head football coach, was booked at the White County Jail, but is now out on bond.
“Twin Lakes Schools officials address all such allegations very seriously and will professionally perform all duties to educate and protect our students,” Superintendent Dr. Thomas Fletcher wrote in a statement.
The statement says Hay was suspended and when told he faced firing, “Mr. Hay presented his resignation with the intent to retire.” The school board will take up Hay’s resignation April 13.
It’s the second time in two months an ex-coach and teacher at the school has been arrested for inappropriate sexual conduct with a female student. In January, it was wrestling coach Scott Hardy. State police say the two cases are unrelated.
“Had quite a few in this small of a town in this short of time,” said resident Rick Kinkle. “Real surprised to see.”
Hay couldn’t be reached for comment and his wife had no comment on the charges facing her husband.
“I actually am appalled that could have gone on in the first place,” said parent Jim DeKoster.
“Very definitely hard to believe,” said a woman who knows Hay. “And he’s not been proven guilty yet.”
Residents are concerned for the children in the schools.
“I don’t understand what’s going on with these men,” said Monticello resident Robert Peck. “It shouldn’t be going on with these school kids, period. They should know better.”
“My main concern is, how we can stop this and keep it from happening in the future? We put our trust in these people. We have got to know we can have our kids going to school safely.