Private school counselor arrested for having sex with student

ARRESTED: Kenleigh Prendergast, 25, was charged over an alleged affair with a pupil

A counselor at a $20,000-per-year South Carolina day school was fired and arrested after admitting she had sex with an underage student, police officials said.

Kenleigh Prendergast, who worked at Spartanburg Day School, was arrested just after midnight Saturday and charged with sexual battery for having an inappropriate relationship with a student who was 16 or 17 years old.

Investigators said the relationship began in January 2018 and ended a few days before it was reported to deputies on March 25.

Fox Carolina reports that Prendergast admitted to deputies that she was texting, calling and using Facetime with the student before eventually meeting the student at her private counseling practice and home.

Kenleigh Prendergast

In a statement, Spartanburg Day School, which is a nationally accredited independent school for students in grades 3K to 12, said Prendergast was hired as a school counselor in August 2017.

“Effective immediately, Ms. Prendergast’s employment with the school has been terminated.”

“SDS puts the safety and well-being of our students above all things, and will cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Office throughout this process,” the school said.

The investigation is ongoing, officials said.

Investigators said the relationship began in January 2018 and ended a few days before it was reported to deputies on March 25.

Prendergast admitted to texting, calling and using Facetime with the student before eventually meeting the student outside of school at her private counseling practice and home, deputies said.

In a statement Spartanburg Day School said Prenergast was hired as a school counselor in August of 2017.

Spartanburg Day School is a nationally accredited independent school for students in grades 3K-12.

She also lost her job at Spartanburg County Day School in South Carolina — which charges fees of up to $20,000 (£14,000) a year.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office told local news they had been notified of allegations of a possible inappropriate relationship between the student and counsellor at the school.

Kenleigh was working as a counsellor at the school when she had the illicit affair between January and March this year.

Police claim that during an interview she broke down and admitted to the allegations.

She said that she and the student would text, call, or Facetime during the school day and after school hours.

Investigators say eventually they began meeting outside of school hours.

They would go to Kenleigh’s private counselling office, and even her own home.

The school, which charges parents up to $20,000 (£14,200) per year, said Prendergast had immediately been dismissed once the charges were made on Saturday.

A spokespersons said: “Spartanburg Day School was contacted on March 31 by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and informed that an employee, Kenleigh Prendergast, was charged with sexual battery with a student.

“Ms Prendergast was hired in August of 2017 as school counsellor.

“Effective immediately, Ms Prendergast’s employment with the school has been terminated.

“SDS puts the safety and wellbeing of our students above all things, and will cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Office throughout this process.”