LIMA — The Ohio Supreme Court, in a one-page ruling issued April 17, declined to hear the case of former Allen East band director Dennis Dellifield.
Dellifield, convicted and sentenced more than a year ago in Hardin County Common Pleas Court for texting two of his former students and requesting they send him photos of their erect genitalia, began serving a 90-day jail sentence in the Multi-County Correctional Center in Marion on Good Friday.
His scheduled release date is July 19, according to a jail spokeswoman.
Dellifield was sentenced last April after he was convicted in a trial to the court on two counts of attempted use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, both third-degree felonies, and two counts of attempted illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, first-degree misdemeanors.
Dellifield admitted during his trial to the court that he had requested the photos of the erect genitalia of two male students but denied it was for the purpose of sexual gratification. Judge Scott Barrett, who presided over the case, found the former band director guilty of four of eight charges against him.
At the request of Dellifield’s attorneys, the imposition of sentence was delayed until all appeals were exhausted.
Dellifield’s attorneys, Michael Rumer and Zach Maisch, appealed the case to the Third District Court of Appeals, alleging the state failed to establish that Hardin County was the proper venue for the case and that the trial court erred by denying Dellifield’s motion to dismiss on the basis that the indictment was an unconstitutional denial of his First Amendment right.
The appellate court in December upheld the lower court’s guilty finding against Dellifield and further upheld its sentence of 90 days in jail and five years of probation for the veteran band director. Dellifield’s attorneys filed paperwork in January to request the Ohio Supreme Court hear the case.
The high court’s ruling, signed last week by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, stated simply, “Upon consideration of the jurisdictional memoranda filed in this case, the court declines to accept jurisdiction of the appeal.”
Dellifield, now 70, had remained free on bond pending the Supreme Court’s ruling.