Now that the trial of former Austintown Trustee and Poland School Resource Officer Steve Kent has ended, a civil lawsuit pending against him can proceed in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson has lifted the stay she issued a year ago on the case filed by a former Poland High School student against Kent, Poland Township Trustees, the Poland Board of Education, and as many as 25 unnamed defendants.

The civil suit accuses Kent of being a sexual predator and further alleges that the defendants had prior knowledge of Kent's alleged propensity towards female students or knowledge of his prior inappropriate relationships with female students.

The teen's attorney accuses the school district and township of not properly training, supervising, or monitoring Kent, and causing the student's alleged injuries.

The teen, who was 16 and 17 years old at the time of the alleged incidents, says Kent was supposed to make the school environment safe, but instead accused him of being a sexual predator who groomed, manipulated, and coerced her to engage in various sexual acts with him.

It remains to be seen if the civil complaint will be impacted now that the jury in Kent’s criminal case returned a “not guilty” verdict on three charges, including sexual battery.

The jury found Kent guilty of tampering with evidence for performing a factory reset on his cell phone to erase evidence of communication with the student.

 Kent was sentenced to a year in prison but remains free on bond as he pursues an appeal.