Band director pleads innocent to rape charge - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Band director pleads innocent to rape charge

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A school band director pleaded innocent Wednesday to a rape charge involving a child.

An investigation of Kevin Kohler, a nine-year employee of Madison schools, started after officials received allegations that he sent pornography to minors, said Richland County sheriff's Sgt. Jeff McBride.

"These sex acts have occurred over a number of years and they occurred in this county, and other counties ... and in other states," McBride said. "Some of the crimes were connected with his official position and others were not."

Richland County assistant prosecutor Bob Castor said he was still investigating the case and would decide later on whether other charges would be filed. He would not comment on whether the rape charge or sex allegations involve Kohler's students.

Kohler's bond was set at $100,000 during his arraignment Wednesday in Mansfield Municipal Court.

A message was left seeking comment with attorney Catherine Goldman, who is representing Kohler, according to court records.

Kohler, 38, of Huron County, is the Madison Junior High band director and director of the freshmen band. He also is an assistant band director at Madison Comprehensive High School.

Kohler had an excellent record as a band director and won many awards with his bands, said Madison Superintendent Roger Harraman.

"He had a lot of kids in band so there is going to be a lot of people upset," Harraman said. "I think it's our duty to watch that closely and help with maybe some counseling when they return to school."

Harraman said Kohler is barred from all Madison school property.

"We are working through his attorney to obtain his resignation soon," Harraman said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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