Former coach, editor pleads not guilty to sex charges

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JEFFERSON, Ohio -- A former Star Beacon sports editor and former athletic coach with the Jefferson Area Local School District has pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment, which includes charges of sexual battery and child endangering.

Sheriff's deputies and prosecutors describe the case as outrageous and say 51-year-old Don McCormack ‎was charged after allegations were made of inappropriate conduct with minors.

Former and current female athletes have made complaints against McCormack, according to law enforcement officials.‎

McCormack resigned his position as assistant coach of girls basketball in June. The Star Beacon confirmed in August, when McCormack was first arrested, that he is no longer employed at the paper.

The Ashtabula Sheriff's Office along with the FBI and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted the six month investigation.‎

‎The indictment states McCormack is facing three counts of sexual battery, which are third-degree felonies; one count of endangering children, a felony of the third
degree; one count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fourth degree; and two counts of sexual imposition, each of which are misdemeanors of the third degree.

Officials say the charges involve four female victims.

Several of the victims, as well as their family and supporters, packed the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Courtroom during McCormack's arraignment.

He remains free on a $25,000 bond.

Read more here.

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