REEDSVILLE — A former Eastern High School Girls Varsity Basketball coach has been indicted on a third-degree felony charge of sexual battery by a Meigs County Grand Jury.
According to indictment paperwork from Meigs Common Pleas Court, Jacob Parker, 25, Tuppers Plains, “on or between December 1, 2018 though January 31, 2019,…did commit the crime of sexual battery, in that Jacob Parker, did, engage in sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the offender, when the offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school…the other person is enrolled in or attends that school, and the offender is not enrolled in and does not attend that school…”
Parker appeared before the court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on a personal recognizance bond.
“Caring for our students and promoting a positive school environment are always our priorities,” said Eastern Local School District Superintendent Steve Ohlinger. “Since April, our district has been involved in a thorough investigation of allegations of inappropriate conduct of a former coach. Our district has a strict zero-tolerance policy for sexual contact between staff members and students, and we enforce that policy vigorously. That is why as soon as we became aware of these allegations, we acted swiftly to assign the coach to home, to begin our internal review, and to engage local authorities. We also cooperated fully with the subsequent investigation by law enforcement. This case has since become the responsibility of the prosecutor’s office, which resulted in the indictment of the former coach. It is important to know that the indicted person is no longer an employee of our district. We are working to reaffirm with all district employees our extensive policies about appropriate interactions with students, and we will continue to take necessary measures to meet that commitment.”
Editor’s note: This indictment was noted as being returned on August 20, 2019 by the Meigs County Grand Jury as announced by Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley.