By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE – A former aide assigned to the Gloversville Middle School through the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Education Services was arrested on Monday after an investigation determined she had previous sexual contact with a female student during a three year relationship, according to a release issued by city police.
Kimberly Gittens, 40, of 7 Monroe St., was arrested and charged with second-degree criminal sex act, a felony, after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct from the summer of 2009 to mid 2012.
Police said it was reported that Gittens had engaged in numerous sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl starting in 2009. It is alleged that Gittens, who was employed by the HFM BOCES as an aide while assigned to the Gloversville Middle School, had developed a relationship with the female student.
Authorities said this relationship existed until recently, when the victim, who is now 20-years-old, disclosed to police that she had been sexually abused by Gittens.
She was held for arraignment, with the District Attorney’s bail recommendation of $10,000 cash bail and $20,000 bond. She was arraigned before Judge Traci DiMezza and sent to the Fulton County Correctional Facility in lieu of the recommended bail as well as an order of protection being issued on behalf of the victim.
This marks the second BOCES employee to be arrested this year for having an inappropriate relationship with children.
In May, an HFM BOCES substitute teacher was removed from service after administrators were notified of allegations of inappropriate sexual conversations through social media with an underage student.
The substitute teacher, Graig M. Frank, 31, of Johnstown, was arrested and charged with official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child on Tuesday, May 19, by the city of Johnstown Police Department.
The Johnstown Police Department Investigation Division and the Administrators at the Johnstown High School concluded an investigation that determined Frank, who was hired by HFM BOCES and working at the Johnstown High School, was found to be having inappropriate sexually explicit conversations through Facebook and instant messenger with a 17-year-old female student from the month of January through April of this year.
HFM BOCES Superintendent Patrick Michel said on Tuesday that Gittens hasn’t been employed by the district since 2012 and stated that all employees undergo a thorough background check, including fingerprinting and a multi-step interview process.
“This is a terrible thing,” he said. “I think we do a very thorough background check but when people decide to do these terrible things it’s very hard to stop them. We use the same hiring process for them that we use for our teachers but unfortunately when they are hired they act one way and then when they are put in this situation they act another way.”
He said considering this is the second arrest within a year he is going to suggest the board audit the current hiring process and policies to see how they can be improved or changed.
Gloversville Superintendent Michael Vanyo couldn’t be reached for comment.
Police said the potential exists that there could be other victims and anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 773-4505.