Guilty plea for former WHS teach, XC coach


Staff Report



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A plea deal has significantly lessened the charges against former Wellington High School teacher Nicholas Vaughn, suspected of having a sexual relationship with a student.

The 31-year-old Vermilion man was facing a jury trial Monday on charges of sexual battery and tampering with evidence — both third-degree felonies.

The first count has been amended to contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

By pleading guilty, Vaughn could now spend up to six months in prison and pay up to a $1,000 fine for the delinquency conviction.

He could also spend nine to 36 months behind bars and be levied a fine up to $10,000 on the tampering count.

Court documents show Vaughn, who taught technology courses and coached Dukes cross country runners, agreed as part of the plea deal to relinquish his teaching certificate and never again seek employment as a teacher or coach.

And while he faces up to three years of probation, he will not have to register as a sex offender.

Vaughn initially pleaded not guilty when indicted last September by a Lorain County grand jury. He turned himself over to authorities the day after the indictment.

Long before the counts were leveled, Vaughn was escorted from WHS and resigned under pressure amid a police investigation.

Wellington police chief Tim Barfield said more than 50,000 text messages were exchanged between Vaughn and an underage girl from June 2014 to December 2014.

Going through each message took months. It was also discovered that Vaughn and the student were communicating through social media sites such as Facebook and Snapchat.

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Staff Report