Former Middle School Basketball Coach Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

A former Newcomerstown Middle School girls basketball coach entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to reduced charges related to a relationship with a girl he used to coach.

30-year-old Mario Lovrinic was found guilty of three charges, which were reduced from seven he was originally indicted on. Initially, Lovrinic was indicted on charges of sexual imposition, for having sexual contact with the victim; two counts of importuning, for allegedly asking a child between the ages of 13 and 15 to engage in sexual conduct; disseminating matter harmful to juveniles; and intimidating, assaulting and abducting the victim.

According to court documents, prosecutors requested that four charges be dropped and a fifth reduced from a felony abduction charge to a misdemeanor unlawful restraint charge.

Prosecutors have recommended a sentence that includes:

  • Successful completion of the sex-offender program at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center in Wintersville before being released back into the community.
  • Thirty days in jail for unlawful restraint
  • Five years of probation
  • 12 months in prison for the importuning charge, which would not be served unless Lovrinic violates the terms of his probation.
  • 18 months in prison for intimidating the victim, which would not be served unless Lovrinic violates the terms of his probation.
  • If prison time is served it would be done so consecutively.
  • No contact with the victim of her family.
  • Annual registration as a sex offender for 15 years.

Lovrinic has been held in the Tuscarawas County Jail since February 15th. His bail was set at $200,000. His sentencing date has been set for June 6th on one count of importuning, intimidating the victim and unlawful restraint.

Michaela Madison Reporting

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