SCARSDALE, N.Y. — A longtime youth swim coach has been arrested and charged in Scarsdale, and the reason has parents and the community horrified.
Rhon Sanchez, 35, was a swimming instructor and coach at the Jewish Community Center of MidWestchester in Scarsdale for 12 years.
Parents such as Debbie Singer were shocked to hear of his arrest on charges of possession of, and promoting, child pornography.
“Oh my God, that’s awful,” Singer said.
“It horrifying,” added Michele Barton of White Plains. “We had no idea.”
A special investigative team from the Westchester County District Attorney’s office allegedly discovered Sanchez purchasing and sharing child pornography online and arrested him Sunday. Investigators said no children were harmed.
Karen Kolodny, executive director of the JCC, said the center sent out an email notifying families about his arrest. Sanchez has been suspended from his job and is not permitted on the property.
“Like everybody, we were all very surprised. We had no inkling of anything like this,” Kolodny said.
Singer said her son had not been pleased with Sanchez as a teacher.
“My son took lessons with him when he was young. He was rough. He kind of had like a rough way about him, like he thought that was the best way to learn how to swim,” Singer said. “My son did not like him so we switched out.”
But JCC administrators said Sanchez was a trusted employee and passed all the required background checks.
“We are looking into different ways that we can, you know, tighten whatever security or information gathering we can have about staff,” Kolodny said.
But parents could not believe Sanchez found his way to employment.
“It seemed that there, they were really monitoring people closely and it was just very well-controlled — each activity seemed that way,” Barton said. “I’m finding this very hard to believe as I’m speaking you.
The JCC said as of Monday, there was no indication that any of the confiscated materials was taken on their property.
Sanchez was released on $25,000 bail Monday and was due back in court on March 11.
Sanchez also worked for 10 years at Beachpoint Yacht Club in Mamaroneck, teaching swimming and training lifeguards.