OTTAWA — A cellphone left in a Kalida school employee’s office after he was put on administrative leave might contain inappropriate videos and photographs of students, according to testimony given during a hearing Monday.
Jeremy Stober, 42, is a school district technology coordinator and coach accused of having inappropriate contact with three female students. Stober appeared in Putnam County Common Pleas Court on Monday afternoon alongside his attorney, John H. Fisher. Stober faces charges of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery, importuning, four counts of gross sexual imposition and tampering with evidence.
During cross-examination, Kalida Local School District Superintendent Don Horstman said a cellphone was discovered while Horstman and Assistant Treasurer Julie Recker were collecting Stober’s personal items from his two offices at the high school and elementary school. He was not allowed to return to the schools or his offices after he was put on leave. Personal photographs and diplomas were among other items that were returned to Stober’s wife.
The cellphone was turned over to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office for analysis. A search warrant was obtained. A photograph of one of the victims, referred to as Jane Doe 1993, was found within the phone’s contents, as well as inappropriate video footage. Sprint phone company subpoenas and a disc containing the phone’s contents were handed over to Judge Randall Basinger.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Detective Roy Sargent, who took possession of the phone after Horstman, was also questioned.
Basinger will decide whether the cellphone can be admitted as evidence during trial, which is set to begin Feb. 26.
Basinger overruled a motion to sever charges. He said the motion for a change of venue would be taken under advisement, but not until an attempt to impanel an impartial jury is tried. The ruling on a motion to suppress is to be determined.
Police officials said the crimes took place between 2001 and 2012. The three female victims were students at the time and all have since graduated.
Stober was placed on administrative leave May 24, but he has since taken an unpaid leave of absence. He began his career with Kalida schools in 1993. He served as the head girls volleyball coach for 13 years and an assistant boys basketball and baseball coach for 17 years.