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Commack track coach accused in abuse released on $8G bail

Bryan Tornee, 26, a Commack High School girls

Bryan Tornee, 26, a Commack High School girls track coach, was arrested on charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old student, police said. Photo Credit:

A Commack High School assistant track coach pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old student off campus, according to police.

Bryan Tornee, 26, of Commack, was held overnight at the Seventh Precinct in Shirley, where he surrendered Tuesday, according to police.

He was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Wednesday on charges of third-degree criminal sex act, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Court documents show Tornee was charged with having a sexual encounter with the girl at the Deer Park Motor Inn on Dec. 26.

His lawyer, Charles Russo, of Hauppauge, told District Court Judge Joseph Santorelli he has known Tornee's family for many years and pointed out that his father, Thomas Tornee, a Commack Board of Education trustee, was in the courtroom.

Santorelli issued an order of protection for the victim, and Tornee was released on bail of $8,000 cash. He is due back in court March 22.

After the arraignment, Russo said, "This is a fine young man. We'll give him our best representation." Tornee's father declined to comment.

Tornee, who was an assistant boys track coach at Commack High School and last year was also an assistant coach for the girls track team because of budget constraints, has been suspended by the district pending the investigation, the district said Tuesday.

Tornee, a onetime standout football player for Commack High School, also worked as a part-time night custodian in the district.

In a statement, district officials said, "When the district learned of the allegations, the employee was immediately suspended and was banned from all school premises. The alleged incident did not involve a member of the team he was coaching."

The Suffolk police Special Victims Section began investigating Tornee after the Commack High School student told school staff of the encounter.

Det. Lt. Gregory Byrne, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Special Victims Section, said school officials learned of the incident last week and contacted police.

Byrne said that Bryan Tornee has not made any statements to police.

Tornee also worked as a part-time teacher's assistant at Locust Valley Central School District for five months, district officials said. The Locust Valley school district issued a statement saying Tornee had received clearance from the state before being hired and has been relieved of duties pending the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Special Victims at 631-852-6184.

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