Schenectady County

Niskayuna volunteer softball coach arrested on rape charges

Town police said a Niskayuna High School volunteer softball coach was arrested on rape charges this

Town police said a Niskayuna High School volunteer softball coach was arrested on rape charges this afternoon, after he allegedly provided alcohol and performed sex acts with a child under the age of 17.

Joseph A. Annello III, 46, of Niskayuna, was arrested on five counts of third-degree rape, one count of third-degree criminal sexual act, one count of unlawfully dealing with a minor and five counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. He was arraigned in town court and remanded to the Schenectady County Jail where he remains in lieu of $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bond.

Police said Annello, a self-employed volunteer coach with the softball team, performed sex acts with the minor on five separate occasions at his residence. Investigators claim he also provided the youth with alcohol.

Niskayuna Central School District Superintendent Kevin Baughman confirmed Annello is a coach with the softball team and had been volunteering for “several years.” But he said Annello, who has a daughter in the district, was never hired by the district or approved for the position by the Board of Education.

He said investigators first informed the district of the probe into Annello’s alleged behavior around the time of his arrest today. He said prior to the arrest, Annello had been in good standing with the school.

“Up until this point, he had a very positive reputation with the district and with the students,” he said. “Obviously this was a very shocking event.”

Calls placed to Niskayuna Athletic Director Larry Gillooley and softball coach Dawn Dagostino were not returned this evening.

Police declined to provide any further information about the case until Monday. An investigation is ongoing, and police are urging anyone believing they have information about similar incidents involving Annello to contact them at 374-3159.

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