June 27, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Man cleared of touching boy

Note: The subject of this story contacted in August 2015 to ask that The Gazette remove his name from the story. After discussions in the newsroom, the man’s name was removed.

MEDINA — A former employee of the Brunswick Recreation and Fitness Center was found not guilty Friday of having inappropriate physical contact with a 14-year-old boy late last year.

A 23-year-old man, of 800 block of Amherst Lane, Brunswick, was acquitted of the fourth-degree felony charge after a common pleas jury deliberated for about five hours following a four-day trial in front of visiting Judge Thomas Curran.

“I thank everyone for all the support I had from the church and community,” the man said when reached by phone Monday. “I was afraid a lot of people would turn against me.”

A grand jury indicted the man for an incident that allegedly occurred at the recreation center in December 2008, court records show. Another recreation center employee reported the alleged incident to other staff members.

The man was employed for six years teaching swimming and organizing youth activities at the recreation center. He also served as the director of FIAT, a youth group at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, and as a Eucharistic minister.

After being released from the Medina County Jail on bond in February, he was on home arrest and said he couldn’t even go outside to get his mail.

“For the last 10 months, my life had been on stop,” the man said.

He said he has been able to go back to his job as an emergency medical technician/paramedic with Brunswick Hills Township and hopes to start working again in the emergency room at Fairview Hospital.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.