Former Seaford High School employee indicted on felony child sex abuse charges
GEORGETOWN, Del. – A former Seaford High School employee has been indicted on felony child sex abuse charges.
Former School Employee Indicted
“Nothing, and I mean nothing, matters more than protecting our children,” said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings at a Tuesday press conference. “When we learn that a child has been abused, it is imperative for all of us to act, particularly when the abuser is in a position of trust and authority.”
Monday, a Sussex County grand jury indicted 52-year-old Jerry Sodano of Bridgeville on six charges. The charges include five counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust and authority. Sodano is also charged with one count of continuous sex abuse against a child.
Between August 2016 and January 2017, Sodano is accused of repeatedly, and illegally, engaging in sexual activity with a 17-year-old student at Seaford High School. Sodano was an athletic trainer with the school at the time.
“Sodano was placed on administrative leave as soon as district officials learned about the active investigation against him. At this time, Sodano is not working with any students,” said Jennings. “Each of these charges is a class B felony, carrying a sentence of two to 25 years.”
Seaford School District and Seaford High School have been fully cooperative in the investigation, says Jennings. In a statement, the district called the allegations “disturbing.” Adding, the district is “troubled gravely by the situation.”
The statement continues that the district is “firm and resolute in our conviction that the safety and well-being of students is a concern paramount to all other concerns.”
More Victims Could Be Out There
Sodano was released on $78,000 cash bail, and is currently being tracked through GPS monitoring.
“If he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, given the serious nature of these crimes, there would be a pre-sentence investigation, and then the state would make a recommendation in sentencing,” said Jennings.
Meanwhile, Jennings is making a public plea for help to identify any more alleged victims.
“We continue to investigate the possibility that there may be other victims in our community. We are asking anyone with knowledge of these allegations, or knowledge of any other crime, to please come forward,” said Jennings. “Thank goodness it is not common. But, when it happens, it’s extremely serious.”
If you have knowledge of these allegations or knowledge of any other crimes, you are asked to contact Detective Lingo of the Delaware State Police at 302-752-3864.
“Our goal is to not have any such conduct in the future,” said Jennings. “And, this case should send a message.”