Kent State music student faces felony charge for sexual conduct with minor

Rachel Abbey

A Kent State student was charged with sexual battery, a third degree felony, during the winter break.

David Nenzoski, an undergraduate student pursuing a teaching certificate in music, was arrested for unlawful sexual conduct with a 13-year-old student in the Windham School District, where Nenzoski was working as a part-time band director and teaching assistant. Windham is located about half an hour from Kent.

Nenzoski, 49, has been studying music at Kent State since Fall 2004 and was one semester away from graduation, said Thomas Janson, assistant director of music. Janson had been Nenzoski’s adviser.

“He was hardworking and studious,” balancing class work with his job at Windham, Janson said. Nenzoski also played trumpet in Kent State’s marching and concert bands.

Nenzoski had been working as a part-time band director and teaching assistant for Windham’s junior and senior high schools for about four years, Superintendent Ron Niemiec said. Nenzoski began volunteering at the school about 10 years ago and seemed well-liked by students and faculty, he added.

“He was a good guy,” Niemiec said. “He was always here, working away.”

Nenzoski worked with about 20 students in grades seven through 12 involved in Windham’s band. The entire student body for that grade range is about 500.

Niemiec said the school checked that Nenzoski’s record was clear before he was allowed to teach. Anyone working with students must receive a pupil activity certificate, which will not be granted without a background check.

“I was just totally shocked,” Niemiec said. Niemiec has been with Windham for seven years, four as superintendent, and has been involved in education for 38 years.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve experienced,” he said.

The girl involved with the incident is a student at Windham. Her parents approached Niemiec on Dec. 27 with concerns about information they had found on a cell phone bill. He said they spoke immediately and contacted the police that evening.

Nenzoski was arrested Jan. 2 and he turned in his resignation the same day. During a scheduled board of education meeting on Jan. 3, the board accepted his resignation.

Janson said Nenzoski is not enrolled as a Kent State student this semester.

His preliminary hearing was Jan. 12 and further action is unknown at this time. The prosecutor was unavailable for comment.

The Windham police department was unavailable to comment until today, and the Portage County Sherrif’s Office has referred all questions about the case to the Windham department.

Messages left at Nenzoski’s home number were also unanswered, and the message on the answering machine stated he no longer resided at that address.

At this time, the school plans no further action, Niemiec said. Letters were sent to parents soon after the case began, informing them of the situation and asking for any information. No other students have come forward, and Niemiec said he is “relieved” that the incident seems isolated.

He said the student is “doing fine,” and the school is doing whatever they can to protect her. She is currently attending classes.

Niemiec said parents should keep tabs on their children, checking what they do on the Internet and who they talk to on their cell phones. Students should also stay aware.

“Too many times in this day and age, people are afraid to accuse someone of something,” he said.

Students need to know when they need to come forward, he added.

Nenzoski is currently being held at the Portage County Justice Center.

Contact public affairs reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].