A since-suspended teacher and girls basketball coach in Pennsylvania is now headed to trial on charges that she had numerous sexual activity sessions with one of her basketball players and another underage girl.
36-year-old Kelli S. Vassallo had been suspended without pay after the allegations surfaced.
The young victim who was on her basketball team says she was just 13 in June of 2013 when she went to Coach Vassallo for help with a personal problem.
The disgraced teacher then started texting her and would pick her up after school and take her to her own home where, the girl says, the two of them would watch TV.
That September, Ms. Vassallo told her she had feelings for her, then kissed her. “I was confused,” the young victim said.
The (more) sexual activity started roughly two weeks later and went on two to three times a week, on into August of 2014, according to the girl.
She says that explicit sexual activity, such as Ms. Vassallo washing her in the shower, also had her sleeping in the same bed when the teacher was babysitting kids while their parents were on a trip.
She told the girl never to tell anyone about the illicit affair, but she did; she told a teacher back in May.
The second female, now 24, says her relationship with Vassallo started in the summer of 2009 when she was babysitting.
Vassallo had helped her get a summer job and taught her how to drive, according to the girl. The teacher had been a nanny for her parents.
Her parents found out and had gotten a court order to stop her from texting with their daughter, but she just circumvented it by using other people’s Facebook pages.
Her parents then got a lawyer in 2009, who ordered Ms. Vassallo to cease contact with their daughter. This took place after the attorney found roughly 275 text messages between the two.
The girl-turned-woman says her relationship, too, started with kissing, advanced to sexual touching when she was 17, and then to Vassallo penetrating her with her finger.
This all continued until sometime after she turned 18 in November of 2010, according to the victim.
Vassallo was charged back in early December after a seventh-month state police investigation.
She’s been charged with aggravated, institutional and indecent assault, corruption of minors, and criminal use of a communications device.
She remains free on a $50,000 unsecured bail.
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