Fischbach back in court on probation violation charge

WAPAKONETA — A former New Knoxville coach convicted of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in 2022 faces new sanctions for violating special terms of his probation which prohibited him from using Snapchat or contacting the female victim.

Cole Fischbach, 29, appeared in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court for a bond hearing Thursday after authorities booked him into the Allen County Jail for a single count of violating his probation last week.

An affidavit from his probation officer alleges Fischbach violated special probation terms in January by using Snapchat and other social media sites, having indirect contact with the victim of his current offense via Facebook and tampering with evidence.

Judge Fredrick Pepple imposed special sanctions as part of Fischbach’s sentence in 2022 after an Auglaize County jury convicted the former coach of two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, which were both lowered from felonies to first-degree misdemeanors.

A 14-year-old female student testified that Fischbach kissed and groped her and sent her sexually explicit photos on Snapchat roughly one year prior to his jury trial.

Authorities did not recover the alleged photos which were reportedly sent via Snapchat, a messaging application in which photos and messages are intended to disappear.

The jury acquitted Fischbach of five related charges including sexual imposition, tampering with evidence and additional counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Auglaize County Prosecutor Edwin Pierce told the court Thursday that the new allegations are “extremely similar” to the original case.

“We believe that he is a danger to the victim and also a danger to other juveniles,” Pierce said.

Pepple imposed new terms Thursday prohibiting Fischbach from possessing any device capable of accessing the internet and allowing Fischbach’s probation officer to search his home at any time without a warrant while Fischbach is on probation.

“You got it?” Pepple asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Fischbach said.

Pepple set bond for Fischbach at $25,000 and Fischbach was released from the Auglaize County Jail after making bond payment arrangements.

A pre-trial hearing on the matter is scheduled for Feb. 29.