The trial date has been pushed back for the Austintown Township Trustee and former Poland Schools Resource Officer on charges filed against him.

During a Thursday hearing before Judge John Durkin the June 27 trial date for Steve Kent was delayed until July 21. Another pretrial is scheduled for June 27.

Kent has pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of sexual battery and 1 count of tampering with evidence. The charges were handed up by the Mahoning County Grand Jury.

Counts One, Two, and Three on the felony Sexual Battery charges allege that Kent, while employed in an authority role in the Poland Local School District, engaged in sexual contact with a person that was enrolled or attended the school, on three occasions, on or about April 29-30, 2021; May 20, 2021; and May 31-June 1, 2021.

Count four on Tampering with Evidence, the charge reads: "The defendant(s) unlawfully did, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress, or was about to be or likely to be instituted, alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing, with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation."

Kent was placed on unpaid administrative leave from the Poland Police Department in June of 2021 after allegations came to light involving an individual who works in the Poland Local School District, but is not employed through the district.

On March 2, Poland Township voted unanimously to discharge a school resource officer for “immoral conduct and malfeasance in accordance with Article 7 and Article 9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Fraternal Order of Police and Poland Township.”

Kent allegedly committed the crimes while both on and off duty.

Two fellow Austintown Trustees have released statements condemning Kent’s alleged crimes, but conceding that their colleague is innocent until proven guilty.