Former Lordstown girls athletic coach pleads guilty to sex charg - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Former Lordstown girls athletic coach pleads guilty to sex charges

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Richard Knox Richard Knox
LORDSTOWN, Ohio -

Forty-five-year-old Richard Knox, who coached girls volleyball and basketball in Lordstown, faced a judge Wednesday and pleaded guilty to six felony sex charges. 

Two counts each of soliciting a minor for sex, pandering sexually oriented material involving minors, and gross sexual imposition.  

"He had nude and sexual images of some of these minors on his cell phone and on at least two occasions he inappropriately touched one of the females," said Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.

Knox pleaded guilty under what is called a bill of information.

 "It's something that spares the victims from having to testify additional times, having to come into the grand jury.  So I think it's always a good thing the quicker we can take care of these cases for the victims," Wildman said.

Lordstown schools say Knox was not a teacher but had gone through the normal background check for a pupil activity permit.  That's why Lordstown Detective Chris Bordonado calls the case disturbing.

"You know, you're put in a position of trust like that and you take advantage of that to exploit young girls. It's wrong," Bordonado said.

 Lordstown Superintendent Terry Armstrong says counseling services will be available for any students impacted by this incident.

"Our administration has reached out to those families as well as sent notes to all the other students who have been athletes in those programs if they would need counseling," the superintendent said.

Knox is free on bond pending sentencing. The maximum penalty on all charges would be 15 years, and he would be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. 

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