YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A jury has been seated and trial is set to begin in the case of a former Poland Township school resource officer accused of sexual misconduct with a Seminary High School student.
Steven Kent, 54, is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a student two years ago while he was a school resource officer.
Kent is also an Austintown Township Trustee.
The trial is set to begin at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.
The charges against Kent stem from an investigation that began in June 2022.
The state Attorney General’s office is prosecuting the case to avoid any conflicts of interest.
Kent is accused of engaging in sexual conduct on April 29 or 30, 2021; May 20, 2021; and May 31 or June 1, 2021, while he was a person of authority employed by a school that the victim in the case attended.
The tampering with evidence charge accuses Kent of altering, hiding or destroying documents on June 6, 2021, while knowing that an official investigation took place.
Kent was indicted in April 2022.
Kent’s attorney, John Juhasz, has asked Judge Durkin for a change of venue, saying that pretrial publicity has made it impossible to seat an impartial jury locally. Judge Durkin has taken the matter under advisement.
Kristen Hephner contributed to this report.