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Valley News Dispatch

Ex-Kiski Area coach accused of sex with student

Emily Balser
| Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 12:54 p.m.
Kiski Area High School
Kiski Area High School

A former Kiski Area School District athletics employee has been charged with having sex and other inappropriate contact with five Kiski Area High School students.

Ryan O’Toole, 27, of Penn Hills, has been charged with one count of having sex with a student while an employee of a school, three counts of corruption of minors and one count of harassment.

Charges were filed July 13 after a months-long investigation by state police. A summons was mailed to O’Toole. He hasn’t been arraigned.

Court documents reveal O’Toole admitted during a police interview on Dec. 6, 2017 that he engaged in inappropriate behavior and contact with current and former students from Kiski Area High School.

Five victims are outlined in court documents related to the case.

The documents state O’Toole had sex with an 18-year-old female in his car while she was a student at Kiski Area High School in the spring of 2017. He’s also accused of sending inappropriate text messages to her.

The documents also outline allegations of inappropriate contact with a 17-year-old female student that began in the fall of 2016, including two separate incidents in which, police say, he kissed her and made other sexual advances while in his car.

Another victim accuses O’Toole of making “grunting sounds” and comments about her buttocks that made her uncomfortable as she was squatting and lifting weights during a workout with O’Toole.

Another victim accuses O’Toole of sending her text messages that were sexual in nature and of him without a shirt on.

The final victim, a 17-year-old female, accuses O’Toole of sending her several text messages in the spring of 2017 that contained details of each incident with the other female students.

O’Toole is the owner of RM Performance Training, which describes itself on its website as a company that provides personal training for student athletes both privately as well as through school districts.

The website says the company has worked with the Kiski Area High School football, girls soccer and volleyball teams as well as Franklin Regional’s girls basketball team, the Gateway girls soccer team, and Beaver Area baseball team.

A Franklin Regional spokesperson said that district conducted its own investigation into O’Toole when the Kiski allegations came to light last fall, but found no evidence of students there having inappropriate contact with O’Toole.

Court document show the high school’s assistant principal referred information about the allegations to Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services. After the allegations came to light, O’Toole was interviewed about them by the high school principal, assistant principal and athletic director. He was fired following the interview.

Allegheny Township police said in November 2017 that a report of “suspicious activity” involving a school employee was made to a school resource officer on Nov. 6 or Nov. 7. District administrators were alerted at that time.

Kiski Area Superintendent Tim Scott issued a statement Nov. 9 saying the district “immediately suspended all services performed by this individual in regards to Kiski Area School District and its students.”

Scott confirmed Tuesday that O’Toole had served as Kiski’s assistant football coach during the 2017 season and was “associated with Kiski Area students through his independent personal training business.”

He said the allegations and charges are concerning to the district.

“We all have a role and a responsibility in ensuring not only individually doing what’s right and appropriate at all times, but also ensuring we’re part of a system that does it across the board,” he said. “It’s a cause of great concern.”

Scott said the district is working to ensure there are no instances where a student and teacher are in a one-on-one setting.

“We don’t want kids and adults in one-on-one situations whether its weight room or a classroom,” he said. “We want everyone to be protected in those kinds of environments.”

Attempts to contact O’Toole at a phone number and e-mail address listed on his website were unsuccessful.

O’Toole’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. July 31 in front of District Judge Cheryl Peck-Yakopec.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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