MOUNT HOLLY — A former assistant football coach at Maple Shade High School has been cleared of allegations of sexual misconduct with a student.
Mark Kinney Jr. was found not guilty Tuesday of charges of sexual assault, official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child, his attorney, Ronald B. Thompson of Sicklerville, said.
A Superior Court jury deliberated for about 50 minutes before issuing its decision after a trial that began a week earlier.
Jurors heard from seven witnesses for the prosecution and four for the defence, including Kinney.
Kinney, who also served as a behavioral therapist at the school, was accused in February 2019 of having sex with a female student during the 2018-2019 school year.
Kinney pleaded not guilty in an October 2019 arraignment “and thereafter continued to maintain his innocence,” his attorney noted.
The State Board of Examiners voted to suspend Kinney’s Substitute Teaching Certificate in July 2020.
The council acknowledged Kinney, a resident of Gloucester Township, “vehemently denies the allegation”.
He also noted his claim that the alleged victim impact statement was the only evidence against him and that the suspension of his credentials would be “premature” with the charges against him still unresolved.
But the board concluded that “Kinney’s potential disqualification from public school service…provides just cause for taking action against his degree.”
His 2020 ruling said the suspension would continue, “pending the resolution of the criminal proceedings,” the ruling said.
If convicted, Kinney faces a five- to 10-year sentence for the official misconduct charge, with a mandatory five-year ban on parole eligibility, Thompson said.
He faces potential prison terms of five to 10 years each for the sexual assault and endangerment charges.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other topics for the Courier-Post, the Burlington County Times and the Daily Journal.
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