Weekly Feature

2017-04-13 / Front Page

Maryvale volleyball coach facing felony sex act charges

The Maryvale High School boys volleyball coach is facing sex crime charges after allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages and meeting with a 16-year-old boy.  

Andrew T. Murtha, 39, of Depew, was arrested Wednesday morning by New York State Police investigators, according to a press release from the agency. He was charged with third-degree criminal sexual act, a class E felony, and first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, a class D felony.

Maryvale officials offered a brief comment regarding the arrest.

“We are aware of the serious charges, and we are cooperating fully with the State Police investigation,” Superintendent Joseph RD’Angelo said.

He added that Murtha  serves only as a volleyball coach for the school during the season and is not a member of the high school faculty or staff.

The charges are the result of an investigation, which state police said  revealed that Murtha exchanged messages and pictures with a 16-year-old boy on a social media app and met with him for sexual conduct. 

A search warrant was executed Wednesday  in Cheektowaga by state police investigators from CanandaiguaClarence and Buffalo, where Murtha’s vehicle and cellular phone were seized and searched.

Authorities said the  case began when troopers from the Canandaigua barracks were dispatched to  Phelps, New York, in Ontario County, after parents discovered the boy sneaked out to meet Murtha. 

According to the release, investigators learned that Murtha was in the Rochester area that weekend for a travel volleyball tournament and had reached out to the boy on a social media app. In addition to his position at Maryvale, Murtha is the coach of a boys travel volleyball team in Lockport, investigators reported. 

 Murtha was arrested in Cheektowaga and transported to the Canandaigua barracks for processing. He was arraigned in the Town of Phelps Court and remanded to Ontario County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail.

The investigation is continuing for any other potential victims, state police  said.

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