School Officials’ Charges Dropped

STEUBENVILLE – Charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect against two Steubenville City School employees in connection with a special grand jury investigating aspects of the Steubenville rape case have been dismissed after the defendants completed conditions that had been set by the court.

Lynnett Gorman, the Pugliese West Elementary School principal, and Seth Fluharty, a wrestling and conditioning coach and teacher at Garfield East Elementary School, were among several people charged by the special grand jury called by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Both entered agreements that allowed the charges to be dismissed if they successfully met a set of conditions.

Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove signed the dismissal entries upon the request of Scott A. Longo, assistant attorney general. Longo, in his motion to dismiss the charges, stated Gorman and Fluharty had completed the requirements of their agreement.

Gorman’s agreement stated the charge against her would be dismissed if she completed 40 hours of community service and spoke with other teachers and administrators in the Steubenville City School District on the subject of recognizing and reporting child abuse and child neglect.

The agreement states the resolution to the case was in the best interest of Gorman, the state, the school district and the community.

Defense attorney Dennis McNamara of Columbus on Friday filed a motion to have Cosgrove seal Gorman’s case.

“Because (Gorman) fully complied with certain conditions imposed by the state, the case cannot be refiled. (Gorman) has no prior criminal record and she has no case pending in any jurisdiction at this time. There is no state interest served by preserving a public record of this dismissed complaint,” McNamara’s motion states.

No hearing has been scheduled on the request.

In Fluharty’s case, he agreed to perform 20 hours of community service at the A.L.I.V.E. domestic violence shelter or other approved facility in the Steubenville area.

Fluharty also was to attend a training session for Steubenville City Schools provided by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence to provide Steubenville school staff members with an overview of of sexual assault and to teach them how to cofacilitate the “Stand Up!” program for Steubenville students.

The Fluharty agreement was reached out of court, and Fluharty didn’t have to appear in court.