CANTON, Ohio — The Canton Police Department has provided more details about its investigation into an assistant coach allegedly attempting to solicit sex from an underage student.
According to Chief Jack Angelo, a YouTube video allegedly shows the Canton City School District coach attempting to meet with who he thought was a 15-year-old juvenile.
The coach has been placed on administrative leave pending results of the investigation. The district tells 3News that the employee is a middle school cross country coach who was slated to help coach track at Canton McKinley High School this spring.
Angelo says the person who posted the video made contact with the coach via the internet and posed as the 15-year-old. "Cases where the public initiate such encounters are difficult to prosecute because they do not involve law enforcement or an actual juvenile victim. While we have no doubt the intentions of the video posted were good, we do not encourage this type of action. Anyone who believes they have evidence of any crime should contact their local law enforcement agency," Angelo writes.
Police are investigating the incident as a possible attempted importuning violation, but added that they cannot say that a successful prosecution will be possible.
On Sunday morning, Canton City School Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Graham released the following statement:
Early Sunday morning district authorities were notified of a YouTube video circulating on the internet allegedly implicating one of its assistant coaches soliciting an underage student. The Canton City Schools District takes any and all allegations regarding the safety of its students seriously, and is cooperating fully with local police to assist in their investigations to the fullest extent. The individual was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
The Canton City Schools will be providing counselors to offer support to students for as long as they are in need. Information that may help the investigation should be reported directly to the Canton Police Department at (330) 649-5800.