Former Loyalsock Township coach sentenced to prison for sexual assault

A former Loyalsock Township School District basketball coach has been sentenced to one to two years in county prison followed by 10 years of probation for sexual assault of two minors.

Kelli S. Vassallo, 38, of 1346 Lafayette Parkway, was sentenced on Wednesday for two counts of sexual assault after pleading guilty to having sexual relations with two minors.

State police said she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in 2013 and 2014, and during part of that time, the teen was on Vassallo’s basketball team.

At the time of her arrest in December 2016, Vassallo already had been suspended from her position with the Williamsport Area School District. She was a sixth grade teacher at the Curtin Intermediate School on Eldred Street for several years.

The first victim told investigators in June 2016 her coach had molested her “about 20 times” between the fall of 2013 and the late summer of 2014. The alleged sexual acts occurred at Vassallo’s Loyalsock Township residence as well as in an upstairs bedroom in a house in a second township property, police said in court records.

In her interview with investigators, the victim, then 16, told police Vassallo “was helping her through a rough time” when she was 13 and that the relationship began with just texting and “hanging out with friends,” Trooper Jason Miller, the lead investigator, wrote in an affidavit.

In September 2013, Vassallo told the girl she “had feelings for her and that things progressed,” Miller said the victim told investigators. A week later, Vassallo allegedly “began touching the girl sexually,” the trooper added.

The girl also reported she and Vassallo took showers together.

Shortly after the first victim talked to police, a second alleged victim came to light; a woman, now in her 20s, who claimed Vassallo allegedly molested her multiple times when she was 17 and a student in the township’s school district, police said.

Vassallo pleaded guilty to two counts of institutional sexual assault as well as three counts of corruption of a minor and will be serving one to two years in Lycoming County Prison, where she will be eligible for work release.