Johnsen Sexual Battery Trial Set For January

A former Ohio high school swim coach will go on trial in January for sexual battery after being accused of having sexual contact with two former team members.

40-year-old Matt Johnsen was arrested in August and charged with two counts of felony sexual battery. An English teacher and coach at Hoover High School in Canton, Ohio for 15 years, Johnsen was accused of sexual misconduct with two girls between 2006 and 2008. The girls were above Ohio’s age of consent (16) at the time of the alleged misconduct, but Ohio law still incriminates the alleged sexual contact because Johnsen was in a coach-athlete relationship of authority over the girls.

In August, Johnsen pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Now, the Canton Repository reports that Johnsen will go on trial beginning January 16, 2018 after attorneys held a status conference this week. The new report has a few more details about the alleged abuse.

According to the Repository report, Johnsen is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a 17-year-old girl from June 2006 to May 2007. The alleged contact occured at both Hoover High School and the Dogwood Pool in North Canton. Johnsen was a lifeguard manager at that Dogwood facility.

The other charge centers on a 16-year-old girl. Johnsen is accused of having sexual contact with her between June 2004 and May 2006 at Hoover High and the North Canton Community YMCA, which is where Hoover High’s team practiced.

Johnsen has since resigned as English teacher and swim coach at Hoover High.

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James Bogen

From the prosecutor’s quote in the Canton Repository article, it sounds like the case is on its way to being worked out with a plea deal. Prosecutors typically will not make any plea offers or accept plea offers from the defense without victim or officer input. The fact that the case is set for trial also does no automatically mean the case will actually go to trial. In many instances, cases are set for trial to give a deadline of sorts for resolving the case because the Ohio Supreme Court generally frown upon cases staying on a judge’s docket unresolved for too long.

James Bogen

*does not mean

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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