Akron-area wrestling coach pleads not guilty to sexual battery, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws

The St. Vincent-St. Mary High School coach is facing six criminal charges

Akron-area wrestling coach pleads not guilty to sexual battery, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The St. Vincent-St. Mary High School wrestling coach was arraigned Friday morning on six criminal charges and pleaded not guilty.

19 News live streamed the arraignment:

Justin “Harry” Lester arraignment 8/2/2019

WATCH LIVE: St. Vincent-St. Mary High School coach being arraigned on six charges stemming from improper conduct with a student. Read more: https://bit.ly/2Yg93DU

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Friday, August 2, 2019

The Summit County Grand Jury indicted 35-year-old Justin “Harry” Lester on three charges of sexual battery and three charges of failure to comply with underage alcohol laws.

Akron police said Lester had a sexual relationship with a female student between April 1, 2018 and April 1, 2019.

The victim was 18-years-old at the start of their relationship.

Lester, who has been on unpaid administrative leave since April, has been with St. Vincent-St. Mary High School for three years.

He turned himself in on July 4.

As you know, we expect and demand high moral and ethical standards of our faculty and staff. We do not tolerate behavior deviating from those high standards. Our staff undergo rigorous state and federal background checks upon hiring and must complete VIRTUS training, which is instruction by certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse, upon hiring. They must continue that training throughout their employment at our school.
President of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Thomas Carone

Lester remains out on bond and will be back in court on Aug. 19.

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