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St. Edward teacher accused of messaging undercover agent pleads not guilty during court appearance

Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 14:26:15-04

CLEVELAND — A teacher at St. Edward High School, who was arrested and accused of sending an online message to an undercover agent he thought was a minor, appeared back in the court of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas on Friday.

Patrick DeChant, 33, pleaded not guilty to attempted, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning and possessing criminal tools.

DeChant was placed on suspension following his arrest on Oct. 2, St. Edward High School Principal K.C. McKenna said.

Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams issued a $25,000 cash surety bond, ordering him to submit a DNA sample and a court supervised release upon posting bond.

He posted bond on Oct. 3, according to court documents.

According to Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas records, DeChant is charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning and possessing criminal tools.

Court documents state that Dechant allegedly had a conversation with a person he thought was a 15-year-old boy that was actually an undercover agent with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (OICAC).

DeChant allegedly "engaged in an online conversation with what he believed was a 15-year-old minor male child and then attempted to engage in sexual conduct with another, knowing that this other person was a minor child, by traveling to a physical location within Cuyahoga County for the purpose of engaging in this sexual conduct," according to court records.

His next court date has not yet been scheduled at this time, according to court records. His case has been assigned to Judge Anthony Russo.

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