Dance companies, schools in Morgan Hill shocked after stagehand arrested for inappropriate behavior

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- Parents and teachers in the dance community in the South Bay are shocked after finding out someone who worked on many stage productions was arrested for inappropriately touching young performers.

Police arrested the man at a recent performance of the Nutcracker.

Kevin Cole, 36, was a familiar face to people in the dance community in Morgan Hill. He worked backstage doing sound and lighting when dance and stage productions were held at Sobrato High School.

At a performance of the Nutcracker last Friday, police say he crossed the line with two young girls.

"The victims say he was helping them with costume changes and he was touching them in intimate areas of their bodies," said Sgt. Troy Hoefling with Morgan Hill Police.

Police say the girls alerted parents and a production manager told Cole he couldn't help with costume changes and must leave. But a short time later, investigators say Cole was back with the girls again. He was arrested for annoying and or molesting a child under 18.

"The behavior of him leaving and coming back yeah it tells me it's an intentional act so I would not be surprised if there are more victims out there," said Hoefling.

Police say Cole worked as a technician for four other dance companies and schools.

Music in Motion was one of them. The director Michelle Moyer does not believe Cole would have been near her performers because they have many parents backstage and private changing areas.

"We were talking after this incident what are further measures to take to ensure kids are safe," said Moyer.

The dance companies and schools we spoke to say Morgan Hill Unified School District requires a production person to be backstage at the high school for safety.

Cole used to work at the district as a substitute theater technician, but stopped working in the summer of 2016. Moyer is confused as to why he was allowed to work as a contractor this year on district property.

"I was clearly told he was never allowed to step foot in the theater. I never asked why," said Moyer.

They say the district recommended Cole as an independent contractor. The district is conducting an internal investigation.

Administrators told parents in an email, "Mr. Cole was a past theater technician employed in the District as a substitute for 13 months during 2015-2016. Mr. Cole has not been employed by the District since June 2016."

Police want parents to be aware of Cole's arrest and want anyone else who may have been a victim to come forward.

Police say the dance companies include South Valley Ballet, Hip Hop Craze, Music in Motion, South Valley Dance and the Charter School of Morgan Hill.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.