Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo ¬ Mt. Anthony gorl's varsity basketball coach Leo Reynolds chats with former Rutland High coach Dave Kinsman prior to Wednesday's game at Leo F. Keefe Gymnasium in Rutland. 12/29/11
BENNINGTON — Leo Reynolds, the former longtime coach of the Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team, has been ordered not to live in his home while charges are pending that he inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl.
A judge issued the order after an emergency hearing Monday morning.
Reynolds, 67, of Bennington, was arraigned last week on four felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bail.
After the hearing Monday, Reynolds was ordered to live at a home in Poultney in Rutland County, instead of his own home, and not to have contact with anyone younger than 16 without an adult present. He was also ordered to stay 300 feet from the girl and her family.
Reynolds is accused of touching the girl on several occasions, most recently on Christmas Eve when the girl and her mother visited Reynolds and his wife at their home.
The girl told her mother later that night that Reynolds touched her and asked her to touch him when they were alone in his room. She also said Reynolds made her promise not to tell her mother because, he told her, they could get in trouble.
In a motion filed Friday, Bennington County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville said the Reynolds’ home and the girl’s home were nearby. Rainville said the situation is “causing great anxiety” to the girl and her family.
Rainville’s argument was supported by the girl’s parents, who both provided sworn written statements. The girl’s mother said her daughter was feeling “sad and ashamed.”
Before announcing her decision, Judge Nancy Corsones summed up the arguments made Monday by the prosecution and defense attorneys.
She said David F. Silver, who represents Reynolds, argued there was no further danger of physical harm because the child was “so well protected by her loving family that there’s really no risk of potential violence, physical violence against this child because she’s in a loving home with caring and vigilant parents.”
Silver also corrected the judge because she said that Reynolds had admitted to the charges, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Silver said Reynolds had only allegedly admitted to two incidents, not the four with which he was charged.
The judge said Rainville called Reynolds a “master of manipulation” who manipulated the child into not only engaging in the acts that were described in the affidavit but also keeping them secret from her parents.
Corsones said she was also concerned because the girl’s father had testified Monday that the girl treated Reynolds like a relative. She said the familiarity between the two left her concerned about the possibility of “ongoing trauma” to the girl.
Silver said last week that Reynolds was the coach of the high school’s girls varsity basketball team for more than 24 years. There have been no accusations of wrongdoing involving any of the girls he coached.
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