By Cady Kuzmich
Clifton Park — A Clifton Park man with ties to amateur mixed martial arts in Schenectady has been charged with physically abusing a child in his care as a state-employed aide at an academy for juvenile delinquents in Delaware County.
Timothy M. Rankins, 48, worked as a youth division aide at the Sgt. Henry Johnson Youth Leadership Academy in Kortright, an Academy for juvenile delinquent boys between the ages of 13 and 17.
The case is being investigated by the the The New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs in the town of Kortright, located in Delaware County.
Rankins allegedly shoved a 14-year-old child’s face into a wall, “restraining him and then lifting the victim’s feet off the ground” until the child screamed out in pain on April 19 according to the Justice Center.
Rankins has served as the president of Cage Wars, an amateur mixed martial arts event in Schenectady, according to a 2015 Daily Gazette article,
The Justice Center’s Special Prosecutor Patricia Gunning announced Rankins’ arrest on July 21.
“At risk youth reside in state care to receive counseling, education and other important services designed to assist them into becoming responsible adults in society,” said Gunning.
“State employees, like this defendant, who ignore their responsibilities to care for these young people, instead choosing to attempt to injure them while using unlawful and dangerous techniques, will be held accountable,” Gunning added.
Rankins was charged with endangering the welfare of the child, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, official misconduct, attempted assault in the third degree, menacing in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.
Rankins was arraigned at the Kortright Town Justice Court and has been released. Rankins will return to court at a later, unspecified date. Since the April 19 incident, Rankins has been fired from his position at the Academy.