DeWine makes agreement in Steubenville case

STEUBENVILLE -An attorney representing Seth Fluharty and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine have come to an agreement where a misdemeanor charge leveled against Fluharty as part of a special grand jury investigating the Steubenville rape case will be dismissed if certain conditions are met.

The announcement was made Friday by DeWine.

Fluharty was indicted on one misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse or neglect on Aug. 13.

Fluharty is a wrestling and conditioning coach and teacher at Garfield East Elementary School.

DeWine announced, pursuant to the resolution, Fluharty agreed to perform 20 hours of community service at the A.L.I.V.E. domestic violence shelter or other approved facility in the Steubenville area.

Fluharty also must attend a training session for Steubenville City Schools provided by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence to provide Steubenville school staff members with an overview of of sexual assault and to teach them how to cofacilitate the “Stand Up!” program for Steubenville students.

Fluharty was to have cofacilitated the “Stand Up! Steubenville” programs conducted in Steubenville High School and middle schools on Thursday.

“This resolution acknowledges how very important it is to report child abuse and neglect,” said DeWine. “Mr. Fluharty will be part of the work that is being done in Steubenville to educate students and school officials about the seriousness of sexual assault and the need to report these incidents.”

Columbus attorney Thomas Tyack, who represented Fluharty, said he wouldn’t issue a comment on the case until the final paperwork is filed.

The Fluharty agreement was reached out of court and Fluharty didn’t have to appear in court.

Six people were indicted by the special grand jury. This is the second case that has ended with charges being dismissed against an educator if certain conditions are met. A third person, a former school district employee, was allowed to enter drug treatment in lieu of conviction and charges will be dismissed if the drug treatment program is successfully completed.

Matthew Belardine, a former volunteer high school football coach, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on April 22. He was indicted on four misdemeanor counts, including allowing an underage person to consume beer or liquor, obstructing official business, falsification and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

Two other defendants have trials pending.

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