BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)
Joby Barr, formerly under contract as a coach for Union Local, had entered a guilty plea to one count of sexual battery.
Under the plea agreement, lawyers for both sides agreed to a possible 18 to 30 months in prison.
At the sentencing Monday, the defense pushed for the lowest end—18 months—but the prosecution said Barr was the young woman’s coach, and she was influenced by him.
“I’m sorry for the tears and heartache and embarrassment I put everybody through,” said Barr, when given the chance to speak in his own behalf. “I made a bad decision and a mistake. I find myself here and I can promise you it will never happen again.”
“It greatly concerns the court that you have engaged in what I consider to be victim-shaming,” said Judge John Vavra, speaking to Barr. “If you are a coach and she is a student, it is a third degree felony crime.”
The judge sentenced Barr to the maximum under the plea agreement—30 months.
He said Barr preyed upon the victim and groomed her.
He also noted that it happened more than once.
Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan said whether or not it was consensual, in his words, “it was absolutely illegal.”