St. Vincent-St. Mary wrestling coach on leave during sexual battery investigation

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AKRON, Ohio– St. Vincent-St. Mary High School says it placed wrestling coach Justin “Harry” Lester on leave amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student.

A report of sexual battery was filed with the Akron Police Department on Tuesday.

In a letter to parents, St. Vincent-St. Mary said Lester’s alleged relationship occurred last year and the student has since graduated.

“We pray for our graduate and offer our prayers to the graduate’s family, and I hope you will keep them in your prayers as well. We are deeply sorry that they must endure this emotional stress,” school president Thomas Carone said in the letter.

St. Vincent-St. Mary said it is cooperating with the investigation and conducting its own into the three years Lester taught at the school.

Under Ohio law, it is illegal for a teacher, administrator or coach to engage is a sexual relationship with a student, even if the victim is 18 at the time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Shadie at 330-620-4927.

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