Austintown Trustees react to Sexual Battery allegations against fellow trustee Steve Kent
Two Austintown Trustees on Wednesday reacted to recent charges of Sexual Battery pressed against their fellow trustee, Steve Kent, which allegedly occurred when Mr. Kent was a school resource officer at Poland.
Both Trustees Monica Deavers and Robert Santos condemned the allegations against Kent, who was arraigned and then released from the Mahoning County Jail on Monday, after posting a $50,000 bond and before attending an Austintown Trustees meeting later that evening.
"We are a nation of laws and both parties, the accused and the victim, have rights. We must respect and follow the rule of law. With this being said, these charges are absolutely disgusting and disturbing. Anyone who is 'convicted' of any offense like these should never hold a position where the public is dependent on them and should be removed immediately upon 'conviction.'
"At this time there is nothing legally we as Trustees are allowed to do. If these accusations are found to be true in a court of law than justice must be served. This board of newly elected members will not rest and will take every legal action we are authorized to take for the betterment of Austintown.
"In the United States you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," Trustees Deavers and Santos said in a statement.
The three Sexual Battery charges Mr. Kent faces are for incidents that allegedly took place between April and June 2021. The sitting Austintown Trustee also faces one count of Tampering with Evidence.