Kenleigh Prendergast is about as Southern Belle a name as you might assign a bubbly blonde 25-year old woman in South Carolina, working toward her full license in Marriage and Family Therapy, and employed as a counselor by the local all-girls day school in Spartanburg. It’s certainly going to stick out on Google search once you’re arrested for having an ongoing personal, text, Facetime, and ultimately physical contact relationship with a teen female student under your supervision.
As with almost all of these cases, whether male or female students, the communications of a private nature began with innocent texts and calls, moving on to Facetime, far more personal and visual, and eventually moving toward Prendergast becoming illicitly involved with the student both at her private practice location and her home. The extent of the sexual contact is unknown at this time, although Prendergast was arrested and charged with sexual battery for the relationship that began in January of this year and ran right up until her arrest this week. She was not charged with coercion, but the student being 16 or 17 years of age, still battery assault.
Prendergast copped to the entire romance once police questioned her following up on an allegation of a relationship with a student. The young counselor’s private practice page lists her specific areas of interest:
I have a special interest in working with individuals from adolescence (12+) into adulthood. I have several years of experience working in a variety of school environments, and have developed a passion for working with teens struggling with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem/confidence and difficult life transitions (new school, parents divorcing, romantic break-ups, etc.).
It’s hard to say if this make Prendergast more or less insidious. It does remind one of the Basic Instinct plot line somewhat. A psychiatrist who studies troubled young teen girls would certainly have a leg up on seducing one herself. Or perhaps it’s merely she falls in love with them easily. The law cares not. Only for the crime. This strikes the very early ending to a promising Southern blonde psychiatrist’s career.