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.
A wrestling coach and teacher is under arrest today accused of an inappropriate relationship with at least one student according to police.
Scott E. Hardy Jr., 26, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of child seduction.
Hardy teaches special education at Roosevelt Middle School and is the varsity wrestling coach at Twin Lakes High School.
An initial hearing has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday in White Superior Court, according White County Prosecutor Bob Guy.
“There may be more than one charge,” Guy said. He said Hardy has yet to be formally charged.
According to Monticello Police Department Det. Tim McFadden, the student is a 16-year-old girl at the high school. He declined to further identify the student.
McFadden said school district officials contacted his department around 1 p.m. Tuesday saying, “Administrators had received information that a teacher had possibly had inappropriate contact with a student.”
After meeting with the student and parents, police searched Hardy’s Monticello duplex, McFadden said. During the search, and with Hardy present, police recovered “several items specific to the search warrant,” McFadden said. He declined to discuss what those specifics were.
Hardy was arrested shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday and taken to the White County Jail. He was released Tuesday evening on $5,000 surety bond.
Guy said he was unsure whether Hardy had an attorney.
A statement from the school district said Hardy has been suspended with pay, pending the outcome of any charges filed.
“Our main concern is the well being of our students,” said Thomas Fletcher, Twin Lakes School Corp. superintendent. He said the district would wait for the outcome of the court proceedings before taking any other action.
Hardy has been with the district two years, serving as a teaching assistant at the high school before taking the middle school teaching position this year, Fletcher said. He’s been the varsity wrestling coach for two years.
Jerry Schultheiss is father of one of the wrestlers on the team.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “He seems like a nice guy.”
Schultheiss said he learned of the issue Tuesday when his son told him the coach was in trouble and would not be at Tuesday’s home wrestling meet.
Had he not known of the situation in advance, “I would have just wondered where the coach was,” he said.
According to Fletcher, retired Twin Lakes wrestling coach Ken Houston, who still teaches in the district, has offered to coach the team for the rest of the year.
“We’re going to take him up on that offer,” Fletcher said.