Wed. 1 p.m.: Former Lordstown coach pleads guilty to sex charges

WARREN – A former volleyball and assistant girls basketball coach at Lordstown High School pleaded guilty this morning to felony charges stemming from fondling two 13-year-old girls from his volleyball team.

Richard Knox, 45, Virginia Drive, Warren, appeared before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay, who set bond at $7,500 and banned Knox from attending any school events or being near any student.

Knox’s guilty plea to two counts each of importuning, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and gross sexual imposition now labels him a Tier 2 sexual offender. According to Ohio law, Knox must register his address with the sheriff’s office every six months for 25 years.

According to assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman, Knox is accused of fondling two volleyball players over their clothing. Lordstown Schools Treasurer Mark Fererra confirmed that Knox is not a teacher, but had been coaching under a supplemental contract to coach eighth grade volleyball and assist coaching of varsity girls basketball for the 2016-17 school year. Fererra said Knox is no longer coaching at Lordstown.