POMEROY — The criminal case against former Eastern basketball coach Jacob Parker was dismissed on Tuesday morning, the day it was set to go before a jury.
Parker appeared alongside attorney Charles Knight for a brief hearing in which Prosecutor James K. Stanley presented the court with a “Nolle Prosequi” stating that the prosecution did “not believe it could proceed to trial.”
According to indictment paperwork from Meigs Common Pleas Court filed in August, 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 was the Eastern girls basketball coach.
In the entry, Stanley stated that the alleged victim in the case failed to appear at a meeting for final trial preparation on Dec. 16. The victim has also reportedly moved out of state and was not served with a subpoena in the case.
Additionally, the filing states, “The victim also told the victim assistance director that she would not cooperate with the state and would cooperate with the defendant if compelled to testify.”
Knight told the Sentinel he had not been in contact with the alleged victim regarding any cooperation with the case.
“The victim’s testimony would be the state’s evidence that the defendant committed sexual battery against the victim, and without the victim’s testimony, the state does not believe it can proceed to trial,” concluded the filing by Stanley.
The filing, which was made on Tuesday morning, requested the indictment be dismissed without prejudice, which would allow for the case to be refiled at a later date.
Knight objected to the dismissal without prejudice, stating that when he left the courthouse on Monday the case was set to move forward with trial and that he was prepared to move forward with the trial in the case.
Stanley stated that the dismissal without prejudice would allow for the case to be refiled should the alleged victim ultimately change her mind and wish to proceed with the charge.
Judge Dean Evans, who was assigned to the case, ultimately granted the Nolle Prosequi without prejudice, ultimately closing the case.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.