NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – New allegations have been made public against two former North Kingstown public school coaches currently on leave, outlining inappropriate behavior toward both middle and high school students over multiple years.

The alleged behavior was detailed in a letter and six student statements sent Thursday to the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s Office. The allegations included a middle school male coach getting girls to take off their shirts to run in bras in front of him, along with a high school male coach putting his groin in girls’ faces.

“He would press his body into my backside and have his hands on my legs,” said one former student identified only as Jane Doe 5, who graduated from North Kingstown High School in 2006.

“I could feel his whole body pressed up against me, both above the waist and with his groin up against my backside during which he would grind against me,” she added. “Although I didn’t want him doing this, it happened at least ten times and I was disgusted.”

The information was sent to federal investigators by Attorney Timothy Conlon, who is currently representing several former students in different civil complaints against the North Kingstown school district. The Rhode Island U.S. Attorney has launched a civil rights investigation into the district, examining whether adults have responded appropriately to allegations of sexual misconduct over the years.

Conlon said he decided to send the additional information now because of a recent interview by Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha, who said he wanted his office to wrap up the civil rights probe before the next school year began.

“We’ve been pursuing it aggressively because the focus of our investigation is on a remedy and making sure institutionally you don’t have failure going forward,” Cunha said during WPRI’s Newsmakers. “My goal is that we take action before the start of the school year.”

The new allegations are separate from the ongoing criminal investigation of Aaron Thomas, a former North Kingstown high school boys basketball coach who several former students have accused of getting them to strip completely naked for so-called “fat tests.” Thomas through his attorneys has denied any wrongdoing.

Target 12 has confirmed the two other coaches, who were not named in Conlon’s letter, are currently on administrative leave from the North Kingstown school district pending internal investigations. One of the new coaches was already accused in April of isolating an underage girl beginning in 2017, becoming “inappropriately fixated on her,” and “stalking the child both within and without the school” when she was 12 or 13 years old.

Conlon argued the new allegations, which were happening at the same time as those against Thomas, showed “the problem” at North Kingstown School District “is not simply that Thomas’s conduct with young boys flew under the radar at the High School for decades.”

“In each of these other instances, and during the same span of 20 years, multiple people are reported to have been aware of conduct on the part of NKSD educators that should have triggered action, and indeed had been the subject matter of some controversy, but little formal action was taken,” Conlon wrote.

In response, Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman said he takes “the matters expressed in that information seriously,” highlighting that the district continues to investigate the allegations.

“I will not have any further comment until the investigation is complete,” he said in a statement.

The new statements Thursday came from students who have come forward to Conlon since the previous allegations were made public in April. In one statement, one former middle school student said her coach would “have girls come up front and do what today would be called twerking, bending at the knees and shaking their butts.”

A middle school boy and his friends became so concerned by the middle school coach’s behavior that they started a group chat in January 2021. The stated purpose of the group was to detail “whenever he says something creepy towards the girls in the class.”

“This is now the official chat that will later use as evidence against [the coach] … in case anything does come up in the future and we do turn out to be right,” one of the students wrote in a record of the chat, also shared with the federal investigators.

The middle school boy said the school has since tried to downplay the fact that the coach has been put on leave, even telling parents that the coach’s leave was “only a rumor.”

“The teachers wanted to put out any conversations about the topic so badly that one of my friends even got detention for asking one teacher ‘why there were so many pedophiles in this school,’” he said. “It has felt as though the school cares more about its reputation than the truth.”

In the high school, one former students said she was one of several female students who were part of a group the high school coach would mock.

“On another occasion, I witnessed him openly ridicule and laugh at a high school girl who had just gotten her period and had leaked through her gym pants,” she said. “He began to laugh and allowed other students to join in until another female coach intervened and escorted her out of the gym.”

For Jane Doe 5, she said the high school coach liked to compare the teenage girl to his wife, and that “all the boys are going to like you.” He would also massage her neck, shoulders and legs around her calf and inner thigh, the student said.

“Even though each time [the coach’s] actions left me feeling dirty, it was as if I did wrong, since everyone loved him, I felt that I couldn’t say anything because no one would have believed me,” she added. “I left helpless and ashamed.”

As a result of the situation, the student said she started skipping classes to avoid him, and the effects have had a lasting effect on her life.

“To this day, I can’t step into a gym,” she said. “I don’t trust anyone in a gym setting.”

Eli Sherman (esherman@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.