Prosecutors: Day camp counselor Jay Marcello, of Wantagh, had 8 victims

Police say Jay Marcello inappropriately touched teenagers while working at Kenwal Day Camp in Melville. Police say Jay Marcello inappropriately touched teenagers while working at Kenwal Day Camp in Melville.
CENTRAL ISLIP -

A camp counselor from Wantagh, accused of having sexual conversations and inappropriately touching children, pleaded not guilty Tuesday inside a Central Islip courtroom.

Prosecutors say Jay Marcello, of Sherry Avenue, had eight victims - all boys under the age of 16. They say he befriended the boys at the Kenwal Day Camp in Melville.

Prosecutors say he then used social media to have sexual conversations with them and discuss sex acts. 

"He would discuss sexual activity with these minors and discuss making arrangements to meet with those minors to actually carry out what he had discussed," says prosecutor John Cortez. 

Cortez also says Marcello "brushed up, put his body in contact with the private areas of these children." 

Marcello, 25, was charged with eight misdemeanors and one felony charge - all involving inappropriate touching and sexual conversations with children.

Prosecutors say the sexual abuse allegations into another camp counselor at the same camp led them to Marcello.

"[Marcello] violated the trust that was placed in him," says Cortez.

Marcello's defense attorney, Victor Mevorah, says his client has never been in trouble before and the allegations are out of character. 

"They are just allegations at this point and we have a defense," says Mevorah.

Marcello was ordered by the judge to stay away from his alleged victims. His bail was set at $90,000.

Authorities say he worked at the camp for seven years and is currently employed at the Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy Center in Wantagh. He was arrested near the school on Monday. 

BOCES says in a statement: "Nassau BOCES has been made aware by the Suffolk County Police Department that a substitute teacher aide has been arrested. The safety and security of our students is our first priority, and we will cooperate fully with the Suffolk County Police Department's investigation. All issues related to personnel are required by New York State law to remain confidential."

As News 12 has reported, another Kenwal counselor was arrested last October. Keith Meyn was charged with 112 counts of sex crimes, including using an 11-year-old boy in sexual performances. He is also accused of having a massive collection of child pornography. Police say they started investigating Marcello after Meyn's indictment.

Kenwal Day Camp says it carefully screens all of its counselors and had no reason to believe that there was any problem with Marcello.
 

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