Former teacher Nicholas Vaughn turned himself over to authorities last Thursday after a Lorain County grand jury handed down an indictment Sept. 2.
Vaughn, 31, is suspected of having a sexual relationship with at least one underage student while teaching technology classes and coaching cross country and track at Wellington High School.
He was indicted on third-degree felony counts of sexual battery and tampering with evidence.
Wellington police chief Tim Barfield said the investigation has been ongoing since Lorain County Children Services provided the police department with a tip in mid-December.
Vaughn was escorted from the school and resigned under pressure shortly after the investigation began.
Barfield said more than 50,000 text messages were exchanged between Vaughn and the underage girl from June 2014 to December 2014.
Going through each message took months. Police turned the case over to the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office in July.
It was also discovered that Vaughn and the student were communicating through social media sites such as Facebook and Snapchat.
Although he couldn’t go into detail about the content of the messages, Barfield said the evidence confirmed suspicions that Vaughn was having an inappropriate relationship with the minor.
“I have felt from the absolute beginning that we had a strong case,” he said. “I’m convinced of that now. I anticipate a conviction.”
Barfield said every case is different so he wasn’t sure what to expect when the investigation began nearly nine months ago.
“I try not to do that in cases, to determine where it’s going to go, because then you have a tendency to be closed-minded at what you’re looking at,” he said. “Our job is just to discover, not to try to make something bigger or smaller than it is.”
The original plan was for the Wellington police department to work with the county sheriff’s office to bring Vaughn into custody but he was already at the sheriff’s office before village officers even started looking.
“It was a wise call,” Barfield said. “It saved a hassle for everybody.”
A trial date has yet to be set.
Vaughn was taken to the Lorain County Jail on a $20,000 personal bond and a $20,000 cash bond.
As of Tuesday, he was no longer listed as an inmate.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Caitlyn Barnett | Wellington Enterprise Nicholas Vaughn is seen here in a photo from an Enterprise story in 2014, when he was a teacher.
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