Attorney for Steve Kent asks judge to suppress evidence in sexual battery case
The attorney for former Poland Schools Resource Officer Steve Kent has filed a motion to suppress evidence with Judge John Durkin in the criminal case against his client.
Attorney John Juhasz submitted the request on Wednesday asking the judge to suppress any alleged evidence found on Kent's cell phone. Juhasz alleges that the phone was illegally seized without a warrant and is requesting an evidentiary hearing.
The motion alleges that Kent's cell phone was seized during an interview with police on June 8, and that Kent provided law enforcement with the passcode to the device. Police then obtained a warrant to search Kent's phone.
Kent's attorney claims his defendant was not advised of his rights to consent to the seizure of the phone prior to the device being taken by police.
Additional items Yuhasz wants to be suppressed include any alleged evidence from the social media accounts including a Snapchat account for 'skent1995,' Instagram account 'kyle_kent15,' TikTok account '@stevenkent04,' his Apple iCloud account, and Kent's Life360.com account. He is also asking that locations tracked from his mapping apps on the phone also be suppressed from evidence for the trial.
Yuhasz is asking to have anything including voicemails, call logs, chats, emails, instant messages, audio, images, calendar, notes, searched items, and web history.
Kent was charged in March of 2022 with three felony counts (F3) counts of sexual battery and one felony count (F3) of tampering with evidence. Kent pled not guilty to charges after the case was handed up by the Mahoning County Grand Jury.
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."
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 is due back in court for a motion hearing on February 14 at 1:30 p.m. in Judge Durkin's court.