SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. – A counselor at a $20,000-per-year South Carolina 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. She is accused of having an inappropriate sexual 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.
News 7 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.
In a statement, Spartanburg Day School, which is a nationally accredited independent school for students in grades 3K to 12, said Prenergast was hired as a school counselor in August of 2017.
Moreover, they indicated her employment has been terminated as the school seeks to distance itself from her actions.
The Spartanburg Day School emphasized student safety in their public comments and is offering their full cooperation with the criminal investigation.
The school gave a statement Saturday in regards to Prendergast’s arrest:
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 counselor. 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.
This investigation is still in its infancy stage and will continue to be reviewed by members of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.