There has been only one allegation of sexual abuse lodged against Jackson High School freshman basketball coach Scott Studer before or since suspicions surfaced that he secretly was videotaping student-athletes showering.
This week, Jackson school officials and law enforcement say the lone suggestion of abuse — contained in an anonymous email sent nearly two years ago — is being reviewed again after the investigation went nowhere in early 2011.
Police on Wednesday also confirmed no one has now or ever accused Studer of improper contact with any student.
At a news conference Nov. 14 detailing Studer’s arrest, authorities urged any potential victims to contact police. A month later, police have not received a single complaint.
“We have not had any of that. No,’’ police Lt. Rick Mitchell said. “The only thing we’ve had is that email. That’s all we’ve had.”
A Jackson schools employee for 25 years until his recent resignation, Studer was indicted by a Stark County grand jury on eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
Police say a search of his home revealed images contained on a DVD, a laptop computer and a flash drive of boys showering in a school locker room.
So far, police have identified more than 70 current or past students who were videotaped in the school shower with secret cameras Studer is alleged to have hidden in the locker room. He has pleaded not guilty.
His attorney, James Haupt, could not be reached for comment.
While Mitchell declined to comment on the email being circulated this week anonymously to local media, it is clear from police reports that the accuser never responded to follow-up emails from police, who first opened an investigation late in January 2011 when contacted by school officials.
The email was originally sent by ‘‘Jon Doe” to Jackson schools Jan. 27, 2011. It alleged Studer fondled the writer — a former Jackson freshman basketball player — at the coach’s home. The offense was alleged to have occurred 15 years prior.
“I am writing this to notify your school [that] you have a sex offender coaching your freshman basketball team, his name is Scott Studer,” the email begins. “It has bothered me for years and now I am an adult I am concerned he is still molesting other boys.”
The writer said he had kept quiet for fear no one would believe him. He concludes by insisting he is not seeking publicity and wishes to remain anonymous.
However, he wrote, “If someone doesn’t remove Studer from coaching I will have no choice but to go to the press.”
Jackson Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto on Wednesday said the email was immediately turned over to police for an investigation. He said school officials questioned Studer at the time, and he denied the allegations.
A Jackson police detective emailed the accuser, but no response ever was received.
“Without further contact from you, I cannot go forward with any type of investigation,” Jackson Detective Jason Collins wrote to the anonymous sender Jan. 28, 2011.
Indeed, the investigation ended until Studer’s arrest last month.
DiLoreto on Wednesday said there was insufficient evidence to pursue an investigation against Studer.
“We never had anyone come forward with anything,” he said. “Internally, we spoke to Scott Studer and he denied that. You can imagine, when you’re dealing with anonymity, the challenges that presents.”
Police and school officials, according to DiLoreto, agreed in November to stay quiet on the email while detectives renewed their investigation. However, someone with access to the reports and emails anonymously forwarded the documents to local television and print reporters.
DiLoreto said he was unaware of any allegations made previously against Studer.
“We never had anyone come forward with any complaints, any person coming forward with anything,” he said. “The only allegation was an anonymous email.”
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or email@example.com.