Sam Seiple Sexual Battery Case Thrown Out for Legal Reasons; Still Guilty of Misdemeanor

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

The sexual battery case against former swimming coach Sam Seiple has been thrown out by a judge based on legal reasons.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Stark County Judge Chryssa Hartnett issued the ruling in the case of the former McKinley High School coach last week.

Seiple, 59, pleaded guilty in 2017 to a separate misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The longtime coach admitted engaging in sexual acts multiple times from 2014 to 2015 with a then-16-year-old girl, according to the report and faced new charges in 2018.

The indictment alleged Seiple had a sexual relationship from December 1995 to May 1996 with another swimmer he coached when she was younger than 18, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

The judge said she ruled this way because of a previously negotiated term between the prosecution and defense that a criminal case wouldn’t be pursued involving the second accuser, according to the report.

Hartnett wrote that ruling is based on a procedural issue, reiterating she wasn’t “permitted to make any assessment regarding the guilt or innocence of the defendant at this juncture.” She also wrote the ruling is “not an exoneration in any form.”

Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero issued this statement to the Beacon Journal: “At the time the first case resolved, the victim in the second case did not want our office to pursue charges,” he wrote. “After further reflection, she later informed us that she wanted our office to bring a criminal action.

“While we respect the court’s decision regarding the second case, we respectfully disagree with the court’s perception regarding pretrial negotiations that occurred off the record in the first case. We are in contact with the victim who is considering the court’s decision, and we will make a determination on how to proceed after we receive further input from her.”

Read the complete Akron Beacon Journal report here.