By Jano Tantongco
For the second time in nearly six months, an employee of Kenwal Day Camp in Melville has been arrested on sex abuse charges.
Jay Marcello, 25, of Wantagh, was arrested Monday morning for inappropriately touching 14-year-old campers last summer, according to police. Marcello is also accused of having inappropriate conversations with campers of “various ages” between July and August of last year at the 100 Drexel Ave. camp.
The arrest comes nearly six months after the 112-count indictment of Keith Meyn, a former employee of Kenwal Day Camp, who allegedly used an 11-year-old boy for sexual performances and was found with a “massive collection” of child pornography, as Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota has previously stated.
Marcello worked at Kenwal Day Camp for the past seven years, according to police said.
He was arrested in Wantagh at the intersection of Sand Hill Road and Wantagh Avenue around 7 a.m., when he was driving to Nassau County BOCES Rosemary Kennedy Center, where works at the center as substitute teaching assistant, according to police.
Asked Tuesday for comment on the arrest, a spokeswoman for BOCES said the organization is aware of it and is cooperating with police, but added that “all issues related to personnel are required by New York State law to remain confidential.”
Police said the investigation, which was launched after Meyn’s arrest last October, was led by Computer Crimes Unit detectives, the FBI Long Island Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Kenwal officials called the news of Marcello’s arrest “shocking and distressing” in a statement emailed Tuesday to Long Islander News.
The statement referred to Marcello as a “former employee” and added that camp officials claim they had no reason to believe there were any problems with him.
“All our staff members are carefully screened by every acceptable method available to us,” the statement said.
Camp officials added that they are working with police to aid the police investigation, are conducting their own internal investigation and “offering any support we can to the victims and their families.”
Marcello was charged with eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree sex abuse and one count of first-degree disseminating indecent material to minors. He was held overnight at the Second Precinct and was scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday after deadline. Attorney information was not immediately available.
Police said the investigation is continuing and that detectives believe there may be additional victims. Anyone who may be a victim or has information about the case is asked to call the Computer Crimes Unit at 631-852-6279. All calls will be kept confidential.