Charges expected ‘soon’ against former teacher

Charges against former Wellington High teacher Nicholas Vaughn could come this week, police chief Tim Barfield said.

Six months after the technology teacher and cross country coach was escorted from the school and resigned under pressure, he has yet to be formally accused.

Police say he is suspected of carrying on a sexual relationship with at least one student during his time at WHS.

Barfield said he intended to hand over findings of a half-year investigation last week to county prosecutors.

“We’re in the final stages. One step to do yet, then (the case) goes over to the courts,” the chief told the Enterprise on Monday. At the latest, he hopes to see charges by early next week.

Barfield would not talk about what has been found while digging through electronic devices in recent months or comment on exactly which statute Vaughn might be charged under.

However, we do know a warrant was obtained in January to search Vaughn’s personal cell phone. Because it was password protected, the device was turned over to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

The mother of a student turned over her daughter’s phone to police. Barfield said previously that poring over thousands of messages was time-consuming and delayed the “any day now” expectations that charges would be made during the winter.

Officers also executed a search warrant at Vaughn’s home in February, removing even more electronic devices.

The investigation, which began in mid-December, took much longer than previous ones he conducted in Cuyahoga County, the chief said – but he believes the case against Vaughn is now solid.

Vaughn has no prior criminal convictions or cases to his name, according to municipal and common pleas documents.

The only record currently on file is for dissolution of marriage. His wife filed for divorce June 3 and the process is expected to be finalized July 31.

They share three children.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.