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Ex-volleyball coach pleads guilty in sex case

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    Lance Wheeler for Columbia-Greene Media Christopher MacArthur, ex-volleyball coach and substitute teacher for Taconic Hills Central School District, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a criminal sex act in Columbia County Court.
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    Christopher MacArthur and his attorney, Michael Howard, appear in Columbia County Court on Wednesday.
June 12, 2019 05:44 pm

HUDSON — A former volleyball coach and substitute teacher for the Taconic Hill Central School District admitted Wednesday in Columbia County Court to having a sexual relationship with a student.

Christopher MacArthur, 23, of Claverack, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual act, a class E felony.

MacArthur was charged April 8 with carrying on a sexual relationship with a student under 17 for several months, police said.

A person is guilty of criminal sex act when the person is 21 years old or more engages in sexual conduct with a person under 17, according to state penal law.

Sheriff’s investigators from the Special Victims Unit began the investigation April 7 after Taconic Hills School Resource Deputy Cindy Madison was contacted by an unknown individual who reported the incident.

The sheriff’s office has declined to release any information that could possibly be used to identify the victim.

MacArthur will be sentenced

MacArthur will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Aug. 12. Assistant District Attorney Krista Kline asked the court to extend the order of protection on behalf of the victim until sentencing. Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek agreed. Koweek also required MacArthur meet with the county probation department immediately after his court appearance.

As part of his plea, MacArthur will be required to register as a sex offender, Koweek said.

MacArthur was charged May 22 with second-degree criminal contempt and fourth-degree tampering with a witness, both class A misdemeanors, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

MacArthur contacted the alleged victim and attempted to arrange a meeting at an undisclosed location, according to the sheriff’s office. The alleged contact violated an order of protection issued by the court against MacArthur at his arraignment April 8, the sheriff’s office said.

Those charges were included with the plea, Kline said Wednesday.

Copake Town Justice John Spencer sent MacArthur to Columbia County Jail on $2,000 bail. Koweek continued that bail.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell