Softball Coach Admits Molesting Teen Player

August 9, 2018 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — A Lackawanna County softball coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl pleaded guilty Thursday to child sex charges.

Charles Steven Kearney, 53, of 1705 Capouse Ave., Scranton, pleaded guilty to felony counts of sexual assault by a sports official and corruption of a minor, as well as a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16.

At the time of his arrest in May, Kearney was an assistant coach for the Lackawanna Lightning travel softball team.

According to prosecutors, state troopers began investigating Kearney in March after the girl’s father, concerned about how much time she was spending with her coach, found “disturbing” message exchanges on her phone.

The girl subsequently told police that she had been seeing Kearney for about a year and that they had begun a sexual relationship in July 2017. The complaint alleged the sexual encounters took place in a wooded area in Ashley, at a home in Hanover Twp. and at Kearney’s residence in Scranton.

During questioning, Kearney admitted coaching the girl and said he also skied with her about three times a week at Montage Mountain Ski Resort. When told troopers were investigating a report of a sexual assault, Kearney’s eyes teared up and he went to the bathroom, according to prosecutors.

He came out more than 10 minutes later, shaking with teary eyes, and left the police barracks, prosecutors said.

Kearney had been free on $25,000 unsecured bail since his arrest May 21. But after accepting the plea Thursday, Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough revoked Kearney’s bail and ordered him held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 28.