A Long Island youth soccer coach has been arrested and charged with raping a player in August, several news outlets have reported.
Nassau County police said Sean Johnsen of Farmingdale, N.Y., who is a coach with the Franklin Square Raiders SC, has been charged with rape, criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. The full charges include two counts rape third degree and two counts criminal sexual act third degree. The girl reportedly is 16-years-old.
Johnsen, 35, was arraigned virtually Friday, according to Newsday. Nassau District Court Judge Paul Meli ordered him held on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 secured bond, the newspaper reported. Three orders of protection were also issued.
He pleaded not guilty.
Johnsen is scheduled to return to court in Mineola, N.Y. Wednesday.
“These are very serious charges that will be addressed in court,” said Matin Emouna, Johnsen’s Garden City-based defense attorney told Newsday. “My client has an outstanding reputation as a coach, teacher, mentor, counselor and categorically denies all of the accusations of inappropriate behavior.”
Johnsen coaches a team that has includes players between the ages of 14 and 19.
The alleged crime occurred a few days apart on Aug. 17 and Aug. 21, according to police.
“We were shocked and saddened that an allegation of such seriousness was made in circumstances that have been connected with our program,” Raiders president Alex McKendry said in a statement on Facebook and the club’s website. “The club takes this matter very seriously and has committed to cooperate fully with both the Nassau County Police Department, and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office toward the conclusion of their investigation.
“It is in this spirit of cooperation and concern for the well-being of our program that we wish to inform you that if you believe your child may have been a victim in this case, or in any other similar situation, we urge you to contact the NCPD Special Victims Squad at 516-573-4022. This number is staffed 24/7 and all calls are kept confidential.”
McKendry also stated that if a child might have need for counseling of any type because of this matter, the club has arranged, with the help of the Nassau County Police Dept. for parents to contact SAFE Center. That is a non-profit agency with more than 30 years’ experience in serving the needs of victims of rape, sexual assualt, domestic abuse and child abuse (TSCLI.org). The organization can be contacted at 516-542-0404.
“The safety and well-being of your child is of utmost importance to us, and we will continue to provide you information as it becomes available,” McKendry said.
Johnsen also was a part-time assistant women’s soccer coach from April to December 2019 at Queens College and a part-time math teacher at Fusion Academy, a Woodbury private school.
“At Fusion Academy Long Island, we take our responsibility to ensure the safety of our students very seriously,” the school said in a statement, which was published by Newsday. “Early this morning, we learned of the arrest of one of our teachers. We have placed the individual on leave pending the outcome of the criminal case. While we have no reason to believe the incident involved a Fusion student, we find the allegations deeply disturbing, and will fully support any ongoing investigation.”
According to a Long Island Junior Soccer League spokesperson, while the Franklin Square Raiders SC are a member of the league, theu also participate in the NYCSL. Johnsen, the spokesperson said, does not hold a pass “with nor is any way associated with the LIJSL.”
The spokesperson said it was the league’s understanding that Johnsen trains a team that has registered with and participates in the NYCSL, holding a pass through U.S. Club Soccer. U.S. Club Soccer is not affiliated with the LIJSL or Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association