YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Former Austintown trustee Steve Kent has been released from the Mahoning County Jail after he was granted a stay in the case.
Kent filed an appeal last month after he was convicted of a felony tampering with evidence charge. He had been acquitted of sex charges involving a Poland high school student who alleged she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Kent, who was working as a school resource officer at the time.
In August, Kent was found guilty of resetting his cell phone to impede an investigation against him. Prosecutors had claimed the reset effectively erased potentially incriminating photos and videos
Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Durkin sentenced Kent to one year in prison on the tampering charge on Sept. 20, but Kent’s attorney John Juhasz requested a stay of execution of the sentence while the case moves through the appeals process. The notice of appeal was filed Sept. 28.
Judge Durkin had ordered that Kent be held in custody while his attorney appeals his case, but Tuesday, the Seventh District Court of Appeals overruled that decision.
Kent has been held in the Mahoning County Jail until Tuesday when he was released.
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The Seventh District Court of Appeals ruled that Kent can post $12,500 bond, and the remainder of his sentence is on hold for now.
Kent was immediately removed from his post as township trustee in Austintown. He was also fired from his job as a patrolman and school resource officer in Poland Township 18 months ago.