Two domestic protection requests accusing a longtime Indian Valley teacher of sexual misconduct with students might go to trial.
Larry Yowler, who’s taught in the Greenon Local School District for about 20 years, had a pre-trial hearing Friday morning at the A.B. Graham building in downtown Springfield. No public hearing was held and attorneys met behind closed doors.
The Springfield News-Sun was outside the courtroom and was told by a bailiff, working as an official messenger for the magistrate, that the cases might be headed to trial.
In February, a parent filed a protection order request in Clark County Common Pleas Court alleging that her daughter said Yowler touched her private areas and forced her to sit on his lap during reading time.
In March, a second domestic protection order request was filed by a parent of another Indian Valley Intermediate School girl also alleging he had touched her inappropriately.
“Mr. Yowler has on multiple occasions hugged the minor child while grabbing minor child’s buttocks,” the protection order request says. “Mr. Yowler on multiple occasions has tried to (physically) force the minor child to sit on his lap.”
No date for a trial was announced Friday.
The Clark County Sheriff Office continues to investigate the allegations, Lt. Kristopher Shultz said, but no criminal charges have been filed.
Defense attorney Samuel Petroff didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday but previously said in a statement Yowler had done nothing wrong.
“He is dedicated to the teaching profession and has been so for the past 20 years,” the statement says. “His students have always been his top priority and he has prided himself on making learning meaningful.”
Yowler remains on paid leave from Greenon Local Schools, a school spokeswoman said. He taught second grade at Indian Valley Intermediate School before the allegations.
Many parents have also voiced support for Yowler. At a school board meeting in February, three parents told the Greenon board of education that Yowler should be allowed back in the classroom.
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