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Conviction upheld for ex-Clay High School athletic trainer

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Secondary School

Conviction upheld for ex-Clay High School athletic trainer

Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and sentence of a former athletic trainer at Clay High School on two counts of sexual battery for improprieties with a 17-year-old student.

Melinda Rober, 38, pleaded no contest and was found guilty June 5, 2014, of two counts of sexual battery for engaging in oral sex with a 17-year-old boy in the school’s football locker room on two occasions in 2011 and 2012. She was sentenced to a year in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook, although the appeals court put her sentence on hold while the case was appealed.

Her attorney, Stephen Hartman, had argued that the sexual battery statute is “unconstitutionally vague” because it applies to teachers, administrators, coaches “or other person in authority” but does not define who a person in authority is.

The appeals court disagreed. In its decision Wednesday, the court ruled that “persons of ordinary intelligence would understand that the statute’s prohibition of sexual contact between students and ‘persons of authority’ would include an athletic trainer with [Rober’s] job description who was assigned to work in the school.”

Mr. Hartman said he was disappointed and respectfully disagreed with the decision.

“I just don’t think that the statute is clear enough to sustain a conviction here,” he said. “The court disagreed, but I think we will likely seek review at the Supreme Court and see if they’ll take the case.”
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2016/01/01/Conviction-upheld-for-ex-Clay-trainer.html#o9EJWIkGDusRzUoW.99

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2016/01/01/Conviction-upheld-for-ex-Clay-trainer.html