Previous sexual misconduct allegations against Northwest Schools coach

Previous sexual misconduct allegations against Northwest Schools coach
Canal Fulton Northwest High School. (Source: WOIO)

CANAL FULTON, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 has uncovered previous allegations of inappropriate touching made against a long time teacher and coach at Northwest Local Schools who is also currently accused of inappropriately touching a female student.

Cleveland 19 is not naming the teacher in question as he has not been criminally charged with anything.

Cleveland 19 obtained a police report and a civil suit filed against the teacher stemming from allegations made in the 1990s when he was a teacher at Delphos St. John's High School.


The teacher was civilly sued, as was the Diocese of Toledo, for damages in excess of $25,000.  The suit calls the teacher the "very successful varsity football coach" at the school.

The complaint states that the student was a student manager/trainer for the school's football team, and the teacher was the team's coach. It alleges that beginning in October of 1990 she was waiting for a her parents to pick her up after football practice when the teacher "grabbed [the student's] arm from behind pulled her onto his lap...began to rub or massage her breasts and, lifting the hair away from the back of her neck, began kissing the back of her neck."

After that initial incident, the teacher is also accused on separate occasions, in the complaint, of making out with her, touching her genital area, exposing his genitals to her and making her touch them.

The complaint also suggested he also said he would "like to have intercourse" with the girl but "it would be too dangerous"

After that the complaint said the girl avoided him, and he said to her "don't tell anyone what has happened because I will lose my job. I hope you care enough about me not to tell."

The complaint states that the student didn't tell administrators but told her friends, one of whose parents eventually contacted the school.

The complaint notes the school allegedly didn't discipline the teacher, who went on to teach and coach at the school for several more years before going to Northwest Local Schools where he's been ever since.

Cleveland 19 was told that the diocese of Toledo reached a confidential settlement with the girl, but that the suit against the teacher was dismissed because it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired.

The same teacher was disciplined earlier this month by Northwest Local Schools.  He has been placed on paid administrative leave and a warning letter was placed in his personnel file for "failing to maintain appropriate teacher student boundaries" after he allegedly rubbed the back of one 15-year-old female student and after other female students allegedly stated they were uncomfortable with how he touched them.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the current superintendent, Dr. Mike Shreffler, who gave this statement:

"During my tenure as the Superintendent at Northwest Schools, I received no complaints about the employee in question until April of this year. Having received those complaints, I immediately caused an investigation to be conducted per board policy. The investigation is ongoing and until it is completed, I cannot comment further on the matter. The employee has been placed on administrative leave."

Cleveland 19 also uncovered that according to newspaper reports from 10 years ago, that a previous district superintendent had said that the district was "aware of the allegations" after they hired the coach but "didn't find anything." There was no evidence of any investigation in the teacher's personnel file. When asked, Shreffler told Cleveland 19 that he couldn't comment on why a previous superintendent would or wouldn't have put something in a personnel file.

Follow Cleveland 19 News:  

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.