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Middle school coach from Ravenna accused of soliciting sexual relationship with 14-year-old on Snapchat

Posted at 10:19 AM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 17:55:39-05

PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio — A physical education teacher, who is also a coach at a local middle school and a local high school, was arraigned in court after being accused of attempting to form a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old using the social media app Snapchat, according to the Portage County Municipal Court.

Tyler Coia, 27, of Ravenna, is accused of soliciting a 14-year-old to engage in sexual conduct on the app, court record shows.

Investigators with the Portage County Sheriff's Office said the case began with a tip, but said they couldn't release more details about the case citing an on-going investigation.

However, a major with the department told News 5 he believes there are other victims out there and said the case involves at least two juveniles.

Coia is a physical education teacher at Glenwood Intermediate School in the Plain Local School District.

Plain Local Schools said Coia is currently on leave while the district conducts an investigation. The district said it does not have reason to believe any students at Glenwood Intermediate are involved at this time.

Coia also has coaching assignments at Berkshire High School in Geauga County and James A. Garfield Middle School in Portage County, according to school board records.

Records show Coia was hired as an assistant boys soccer coach at Berkshire High School in June 2019 and as a boys track coach at James A. Garfield Middle School in January 2019.

Berkshire Local Schools confirmed Coia was an assistant boys soccer coach for the district this fall and said an FBI/BCI background check showed no incidents reported at the time of his hire. Berkshire Local Schools said his coaching contract will not be renewed and there are no known incidents involving students from the district.

James A. Garfield Local Schools said Coia was hired as a middle school boys track coach last school year but was "extremely limited in his time" there with students due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has not worked for the district in any capacity this school year. The district said it is continuing to cooperate with authorities regarding the matter.

The sheriff's department would not comment on whether or not any of the juveniles involved in the case were students Coia taught or coached.

Coia was charged with importuning, a felony of the third degree.

No one answered the door at the Ravenna address listed as Coia's home in court documents Wednesday afternoon.

The preliminary hearing will be held on Dec. 31 at 8:30 a.m.