Ex-coach charged with sex crimes

A former Altoona Area High School assistant girls soccer coach has been charged with having sexual contact with two students.

Altoona police filed felony and misdemeanor charges that include sexual assault of a school student and corruption of minors against Kyla A. Hollingshead, 24, of Altoona on Friday in Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly’s office. The alleged sexual contact, Altoona police said, involved two girls who were on the soccer team.

“At this point, we haven’t even received a copy of the [criminal] complaint,” attorney Steve Passarello, who is representing Hollingshead, said Friday afternoon. “We’re making arrangements for her to turn herself in to police.”

Altoona Area School District spokeswoman Paula Foreman said Friday that Hollingshead wasn’t a teacher at the school district, only the assistant girls soccer coach, and Hollingshead submitted her resignation prior to school officials learning of the allegations of misconduct in mid-March. Foreman said school district police looked into the allegations immediately and turned the matter over to Altoona police when it was apparent the alleged criminal conduct took place off campus.

“As far as the actual investigation, I’ll have to refer to the Altoona police,” Foreman said.

Detective Sgt. Mary Hogan said Hollingshead is accused of inappropriate contact with two students, both members of the soccer team, over the span of more than two years in various locations she wouldn’t specify.

Hogan said the alleged contact took place between October 2010 and February 2013. Hogan wouldn’t say at this time how old the girls were during the alleged contact but she did say one of the alleged victims is now an adult.

The subsection of the state’s crime code under which Hollingshead is charged – institutional sexual assault of a school student by a volunteer or employee – is a third-degree felony and the two corruption of minors charges are first-degree misdemeanors.

Hollingshead is slated to turn herself in on Monday for arraignment on the charges, Hogan said.

Hollingshead, who was the assistant soccer coach from the 2010 season until Feb. 14, 2013, was also a former Altoona Area player who went on to play for a time at St. Francis University after her graduation from Altoona Area in 2007. The school board accepted her resignation at its April meeting.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.