The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Sports

April 30, 2013

Elwood coach charged with child seduction

Kessinger suspended without pay

ELWOOD, Ind. — Elwood High School girls varsity basketball coach Thomas Kessinger, 29, is facing charges after allegedly engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old player.

Kessinger is being charged with child seduction and official misconduct, both Class D felonies, according to Elwood police.

According to a press release issued by city spokesman Jeff Howe, Elwood Community Schools officials have suspended Kessinger without pay and termination will be considered at the next school board meeting Thursday.

Interim Superintendent Tom Austin would not comment and told The Herald Bulletin the matter was in police hands.

Police Chief Sam Hanna said the Indiana Department of Child Services contacted him and Elwood school officials in reference to a complaint over an inappropriate relationship between Kessinger, who is also the middle school instructional assistant in charge of Elwood’s alternative school, and the teenage player.

According to the press release, Austin and Elwood High School Principal David Rutherford confronted Kessinger about the allegations and initially suspended him with pay pending the police investigation.

Hanna said Elwood police began conducting interviews Monday that reportedly confirmed the allegations.

Kessinger turned himself in to authorities Tuesday evening at the Madison County Jail.

Kessinger is no stranger to law enforcement officials.

In 2008, he was arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, according to public record. That case was dismissed when the officer failed to appear in court.

Then in 2009, he was arrested on a public intoxication charge, a Class B misdemeanor, in Vanderburgh County, according to court documents. He was eligible for the pretrial diversion program in that case.

The program allows a defendant to have charges dismissed if a specific set of requirements is completed.

If convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, according to the Office of Teacher Education Services, any applicant filing for a teacher’s license must provide a written statement of explanation and provide court documents.

According to the Office of Educational Licensing and Development, Kessinger has held a license in physical education since 2008.

He began coaching the Elwood varsity girls basketball team in the fall, ending with a 17-6 record in the second-round sectional game, and had previously served as the boys team’s assistant coach.

Kessinger graduated in 2002 from Elwood Community High School, where he scored 1,204 career points in basketball and finished as Indiana’s third leading scorer his senior season. He later played basketball at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Lions star plays in national tourneys Liberty Christian senior Chris Nunn, a three-year starting guard for the Lions and Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star, took his talents on the road this summer,competing in back-to-back tournaments with his AAU travel team, Team Progeny.

    July 28, 2014

  • Dorer scores JEGS win at Anderson Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300. The next year he flipped in Turn 1 during the CRA Super Series event. He scored another highlight Saturday night by winning for the first time with the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour event in the Edgewater Woods 100.|ANDERSON — Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Fre

    July 27, 2014

  • Hoosier Park preparing for 2014 Dan Patch Invitational One of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take place Aug. 8 as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval for the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, 10 of the top-rated pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event.

    July 26, 2014

  • Riverside falls at regional The Riverfield Little League Senior softball all-star team fell 9-3 to Ohio on Saturday morning and was eliminated from regional competition in the 15-16 year-old division.

    July 26, 2014

  • NWS - HB0727 - Leadville story photo - Jeff Mason Leadville: 'Baddest of the bad'

    An Anderson mountain biker will test himself in one of the sport’s biggest events next month. Jeff Mason will be in the Rocky Mountains for the Leadville Trail 100 on Aug. 9.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Riddle again steps down as Frankton coach

    For the second time in a storied coaching career at Frankton High School, Dean Riddle has resigned his post as the girls varsity basketball coach.

    July 26, 2014

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin