Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 7 News List

Missing girl found living with school guard

AP , MCKEESPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

As an eighth grader in 1995, Tanya Nicole Kach skipped class one day and was caught by a school security guard.

In a stairwell, the troubled teenager and the guard who was more than twice her age began kissing, according to the story she told authorities. Soon, they hatched a plan for her to run away from home and live with him.

For the next decade, the guard kept the girl in his parents' house, carrying on a sexual relationship with her for years after her own parents reported her missing, according to court documents.

Kach, now 24, told police her story this week, prompting them to charge Thomas Hose, 48, with statutory sexual assault and three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He was suspended without pay from the middle school where he had continued to work.

Kach's parents reported her as a runaway on Feb. 10, 1996 -- the same day she moved in with Hose and his son at a house owned by Hose's parents. Court documents said the parents did not know she was there because she remained in Hose's room until about 2000, then was allowed to leave only when his parents were not home.

Kach said she used a bucket as a bathroom, kept bottled water nearby and wore handed-down clothes for most of the 10 years she stayed with Hose in the tiny two-story frame house.

Hose and Kach began a sexual relationship soon after she ran away, and it continued into adulthood, according to the charges against Hose. She told police that Hose had her record their encounters on a calendar "so he could brag to co-workers and friends," the complaint said.

On Tuesday, Kach walked into a neighborhood deli and told the owner her true identity. The deli owner called his son -- a retired police officer who recognized Kach's name -- and a missing children hot line.

Kach was soon reunited with her father. She also gave several media interviews, explaining she had many problems at home when she met Hose.

Her father said on Thursday that his daughter was tired and would give no more interviews. Jerry Kach said she would be reunited with her mother on Thursday in a private meeting.

Hose's attorney, Jim Ecker, said his client was expected to be released yesterday on US$200 bail but would not speak to the media. A reporter knocked on Hose's door on Thursday, but was told to leave the property.

James Warman, 53, who lives on the same street, said on Thursday he never saw Kach until about eight months ago. He said she was a sweet girl who would talk with people in the neighborhood, but hurried home in the early afternoon, before Hose got home from work.

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