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Valley News Dispatch

Ex-Kiski Area employee accused of sex with student remains free

Emily Balser
| Thursday, July 19, 2018, 8:12 p.m.

Despite being charged last Friday with having sex with a student while an employee at Kiski Area High School, Ryan O’Toole remains a free man.

Instead of being arrested and arraigned when the charges were filed, he will receive a summons outlining the charges in the mail. The move was made at the suggestion of the investigating state police Trooper James Daggett.

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.

The charges come after a monthslong investigation that began last November after allegations were made by five victims who were students at Kiski Area High School. One victim accuses O’Toole of having sex with her, while others accuse O’Toole of sending inappropriate text messages, making sexual comments during a workout and other sexual advances.

Daggett wasn’t available for questions about the case this week.

State police spokesman Steve Limani said because Daggett is not available he couldn’t speak specifically to O’Toole’s case. But, in general, if someone is cooperating with an investigation they can sometimes receive what Limiani referred to as “jail by appointment.”

“It’ll tell them to contact the magistrate office to set up a time for arraignment,” Limani said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. July 31 in front of District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec.

Peck Yakopec said the decision to mail the charges to O’Toole was the trooper’s. She can’t make any decisions until he is brought in for a preliminary arraignment, which she said will likely be the same day as his preliminary hearing.

She said there haven’t been any restrictions set on O’Toole’s communication with minors and business operations.

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

“If the officer would have brought him in, we would have asked him all those questions and found out and there would have been conditions — in this case that didn’t happen,” Peck Yakopec said. “At the time of the preliminary hearing those issues will come up.”

Jonathan Kurland, attorney advisor with AEquitas, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that focuses on sexual violence cases against women, couldn’t comment on this specific case, but did comment in general terms.

He said there are a variety of reasons someone would be charged via a summons instead of an arrest warrant in these cases including cooperating with investigators or reaching an agreement between lawyers.

“Whether someone is charged via a summons or whether they’re charged with an arrest warrant, in either case they’re entitled to a preliminary arraignment hearing,” he said. “The magistrate can set bail at the preliminary arraignment.”

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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