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February 22, 2017 - 6:53pm

Blind School employee charged with endangering the welfare of children

posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, New York School for the Blind.

NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced an employee of the NYS School for the Blind in Batavia was arrested Feb. 21 for harassing and endangering three children in his care.

Kenneth L. Darch, 57, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of harassment in the second degree -- with physical contact, a violation.

The charges stem from an investigation into an incident on July 28 in which the defendant allegedly struck two of the children on an outing to Blondie's Sip-n-Dip, an ice cream/yogurt stand on East Main Street in Batavia, and used abusive language against them. The defendant additionally is alleged to have taunted all three by directing their bus driver to take them to the local jail, with the threat of incarceration.

The NYS School for the Blind is operated by the State Education Department. Darch, a recreation therapist, was arraigned before Judge Robert Balbick of Batavia City Court and is scheduled to reappear in court March 7. Darch has been placed on administrative leave.

“People with special needs should never be intimidated, frightened or harassed by the very people who are responsible for caring for them,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “This case came to light because a conscientious employee witnessed the alleged abuse and reported it. We are grateful to those who step up and call out workers who choose to taunt and threaten children instead of doing their jobs, like this defendant is alleged to have done.”

Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Jennifer A. Whitman is prosecuting the case. Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence handled the case, with assistance from the Justice Center.

Bill McDonald
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All I I know is I've been a friend of Kenny Darch's for a long time and never in all the years of knowing him and his family never met a more caring passionate man toward kids and all the Vets and folk he has come in contact with through work, youth athletics and a father. The true story will come out an prove my feelings about Kenny to be spot on.. Best to you pal and anything I or my family can do to help you through this, we will be there for you and yours...

david spaulding
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I wonder what makes a special prosecutor so special...... any special or non special people out there inform me ? seems to me this guy needs to get a special attorney... the more I say it the more I like it, special has a nice sound to it.... am I special ? are you special? is our president special? is the arresting officer special? guess it doesn't matter however in this case the prosecutor is special. ... your honor, are you special ?

tom hunt
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I agree with Bill. There is more to this story than is being told in the news. I don't know the individual, however, I would be interested in hearing his side of the story. He is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Mary E DelPlato
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why plaster such a big picture over the news geez..just a uaual write up would have been sufficient...we don't know the facts and lots of things can be misconstrued...its not like he killed anyone

Frank Bartholomew
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How ironic,comments on the Batavian suggesting innocent until proven guilty.That sure is a 360 from the norm.Why did it take 7 months to place charges?Was this guy put in jail and released on bail? Was he released on his own recognizance?

Frank Bartholomew
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Howard,is there any information available on the defendants current status,is he incarcerated,out on bail,released through Genesee Justice,the probation department,or did the judge just let him walk until his next court appearance The latter would seem unlikely when considering the seriousness of the charges.Normally the press releases detail the defendants current status,just curious.

bud prevost
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Frank, incarcerated for a misdemeanor and a violation? I'm sure he was released on his own recognizance. He'll be given his day in court, and then you can bitch about the sentence he receives, probably probation/conditional discharge.

Dave Olsen
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"NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor"
Now that there is a bureaucratic job title. Got to be some very small print on the business card.

Frank Bartholomew
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Bud,no one is, or was bitching,and I don't have a thing to gain or lose whatever happens in court,so like yourself,I have no idea what you are mumbling about.

Frank Bartholomew
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Yes Bud,incarcerated for a misdemeanor,like the fellow charged with his first DWI,arrested and jailed on $5,000.00 bail,on a Sat.morning at 3 am. The guy was absolutely not a flight risk, lived in this area over 40 years,worked at his job for almost 20 years,so the bail was used as punishment,and not its intended purpose.So yes bud,I am always interested to see how our legal system does things from case to case,if that bothers you,go pound salt.

bud prevost
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Frank, perhaps your paranoid delusions that the justice system is always rigged is the reason for my above statement.

Frank Bartholomew
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Bud,back up your garbage,show me one instance where I ever said the system was rigged,you must have confused me with president twitwit.

Howard B. Owens
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This is starting to get personal. Time to take the foot off the gas.

Frank Bartholomew
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Bud, my only issue with the entire legal system is the lack of a fair defense for indigent defendants in New York State,if you want to challenge me on this,I suggest you read the Spangenburg Report on indigent defense systems in New York State.Hopefully your comprehension level can rise to the occasion.

Frank Bartholomew
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Sorry Howard,I didn't think asking legitimate questions would ruffle anyone's feathers.

Howard B. Owens
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Personal attack deleted.

Frank, no worries ... a couple of borderline comments and I just wanted to step in and calm things down. BTW: the comment I deleted had nothing to do with you or Bud.

Frank Bartholomew
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Just as I suspected Bud,you got nothing,with the exception of a keypad and a misguided imagination.Paranoid and delusional? I'm thinking reciprocation.

bud prevost
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Frank, I'll debate you any time, any place. It's a shame we can't go back and view historical comments, like we used to be able to do. I would be happy to cherry pick some of your comments about "the system" and how it's always stacked against you! Maybe some of our fellow Batavian readers could corroborate that. In any case, i didn't reply because of my respect for Howard. Since you had to poke the bear, here it is. Oh, I'll try not to triple post this like you do all your posts. (Must be the site, or the computer, never your fault, huh?) I'll leave it at this....take your sanctimonious, self righteous, holier than thou attitude and stick it.

Ed Hartgrove
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Bud. As far as I know, Howard doesn't delete comments (with the exceptions of (possibly) overly vulgar, or, "personal attack" ones.

As for going back go and viewing historical comments, I believe all you need to do is know where to look for them (and, have the will, time and, patience to do so).

As an example, when I was looking for Congressman Collins' May 27, 2015 statement concerning the EPA about "waterways", I put the word WATERWAYS in thebatavian's search box. That action resulted in being given a choice of 26 possibilities. From there, it was just a matter of (trying to) narrow it down by guessing which year I had read it (I figured it was probably either 2015 or 2016. That narrowed it down to 6 possibilities. It just takes some time (and, a sharp memory) to track it down.

Of course, choosing the best word to search for is extremely helpful. The word WATERWAYS worked out great (in my search). Had I chosen the word ON, I don't even want to think about how many "articles" might have had that word in them - probably 10's of thousands.

Anyways, the "historical comments" from May 27, 2015 were still there.

bud prevost
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Ed, you used to be able to click on a persons name, and it gave EVERY story they commented on. And honestly, I know what I've read previously. I'm not about to engage in a pissing contest on the internet with him. And I'm certainly not going to waste my time substantiating something I could care less about.

Howard B. Owens
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I wasn't aware that feature was no longer available. That said, it would cost me some money to get it back and I can't afford that currently.

bud prevost
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Howard. I figured as the site grew, you would need to archive and/or delete stuff. Not complaining, just sharing an observation. Still my main go to every morning :)

Howard B. Owens
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All the comments going back to the beginning still exist. Is there any easy way to get to stuff if you don't know exactly what to search for, apparently not, but it's there.

Frank Bartholomew
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Bud,your #7 was uncalled for,if anyone is guilty of poking anyone,the sticks in your hand.Oh,and one other thing bud,get your facts straight BEFORE you run your mouth.

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