Crime & Courts

Northwestern High School assistant principal charged with criminal sexual conduct against student


A Northwestern High School assistant principal faces six charges, including four counts of criminal sexual conduct, in a case involving a 16-year-old student.

Kenneth Andrew Williams, 30, of 2610 Park Ridge Blvd., Rock Hill, was charged Tuesday with four counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count each of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and unlawful conduct toward a child, according to Rock Hill police.

The case involves a 16-year-old female student at Northwestern, who reported the incidents to a school resource officer last week, police said. The officer turned the case over to Rock Hill detectives, police said.

The incidents began around May 2014, police said.

Police said the incidents, which are still being investigated, happened at a home or homes inside the city, not at the high school.

Williams has been on paid administrative leave from his job since April 21, according to Rock Hill School District spokesman Mychal Frost. He said Williams will remain on paid leave while the case is being investigated.

Frost said Williams has been a Rock Hill schools employee since the 2008-09 school year. Before working at Northwestern, he was a physical education teacher at Rock Hill High, Frost said.

Northwestern Principal James Blake, in a Blackboard phone message to parents Tuesday evening, said the student who was the alleged victim “yelled accusations” about a school employee on April 20, while she was being restrained by a school resource officer.

Blake said those accusations are being investigated. He said a letter will be sent home to parents on Wednesday.

A Rock Hill woman who identified herself as the mother of the Northwestern student who is the victim said Williams had been a close friend for several years.

The woman, who is not being identified to protect the identity of her daughter, said she was involved in a relationship with Williams in 2013, when he was her daughter’s gym teacher at Rock Hill High .

The woman said the relationship later ended, but Williams continued to be a close friend of hers and her daughter. She said he was very involved in their lives.

“She looked up to him like a father,” the woman said about her daughter. “He was there for us.”

The woman said her daughter shouted to a school resource officer that she had been raped by Williams after getting involved in a fight at Northwestern last week.

“I’m very unhappy,” the woman said about the situation. “I’m very disappointed.”

Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077