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Potsdam student accused of sexual assault on school grounds

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POTSDAM — Police arrested a Canton teen Friday on charges that he sexually abused a Potsdam Central School classmate Thursday night during an after-school sporting event.

Jeffrey W. Clark, 16, is charged with felony first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor second-degree unlawful imprisonment in connection with an alleged incident involving a 14-year-old girl, said Potsdam Police Lt. Mark R. Murray.

“I feel that the investigation, which is closed, with the assistance of school staff, was a success,” Lt. Murray said.

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said Clark, who is a resident of the Colton-Pierrepont School District, is enrolled as a full-time student in the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services program at Potsdam Central School.

Mr. Brady said all disciplinary matters for Clark will be handled by Colton-Pierrepont school officials. Colton-Pierrepont Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash said the school will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations.

“In any case where allegations of this severity are concerned, schools involved are putting their full focus on the appropriate reactions,” Mr. Kardash said. “We are education institutions and we will do our best to provide a safe, productive, educational environment for all of our students.”

Clark was arraigned in Potsdam Village Court and released under probation supervision. He faces a potential of two to seven years in state prison on the sex abuse charge and one year in county jail, three years of probation and up to $1,000 in fines on the imprisonment charge.

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