Former Ohio high school swim coach Eric Spaulding has been found not guilty of sexual battery.
But now the Canton Repository reports that Spaulding has been acquitted by a jury this week after several days of testimony and about an hour of deliberation among the jury.
Spaulding was accused of having sex with an 18-year-old high school senior at Perry High School last April. Spaulding denied the allegations, admitting to flirting with and even kissing the student, but maintaining that he never had sexual relations with the student.
Though the student was 18 years old, Ohio law would make a sexual relationship a crime based on a special clause prohibiting a sexual relationship if the “offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school” and the sexual partner attends the same school.
Spaulding was an English teacher and boys and girls swim coach at Perry High School, and had also coached with the Perry Aquatic Club since 2006. He has resigned his teaching position and as of now is still banned by USA Swimming from coaching.
USA Swimming has not yet responded to a request for comment on the matter.
Update: USA Swimming has confirmed that Spaulding will remain on the banned list despite the verdict. You can read more about that statement here.