A 25-year-old South Carolina school counselor at an upscale private school has lost her job after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a current student, PEOPLE confirms.
A statement from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office provided to PEOPLE alleges the illicit relationship between Kenleigh Prendergast and a student — whose age was not disclosed — began in January.
The Spartanburg Day School, where the annual tuition is $20,000, hired Prendergast in August 2017 to serve as a school counselor.
Prendergast was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual battery with a student, 16 or 17 years of age with no aggravated force or coercion. She has yet to enter a plea to the charge.
The alleged relationship was ended days before the arrest, according to the statement.
PEOPLE was unable to reach Prendergast for comment and it was unclear Monday if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
Deputies interviewed Prendergast on Friday, and she allegedly “admitted to the allegations which were being made against her,” the statement says.
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“It was disclosed that the suspect and victim would text, call, or Facetime during the school day as well as after school hours and eventually began to meet outside of school at the suspect’s private counseling practice and residence,” reads the statement.
According Prendergast’s online profile, she writes she is a licensed marriage and family therapist with “a special interest in working with individuals from adolescence (12+) into adulthood.”
She writes in the profile: “I have several years of experience working in a variety of school environments, and have developed a passion for working with teens struggling with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem/confidence and difficult life transitions.”
PEOPLE was provided with a statement from the Spartanburg Day School, which claims they were “contacted on March 31 by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and informed that an employee, Kenleigh Prendergast, was charged with sexual battery with a student. Ms. Prendergast was hired in August of 2017 as school counselor. Effective immediately, Ms. Prendergast’s employment with the school has been terminated. SDS puts the safety and wellbeing of our students above all things, and will cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Office throughout this process.”