Buchtel High coach arrested
Claude Brown reportedly admits to relationship with teen,
with sexual battery
By Kathleen Folkerth
WEST AKRON — Buchtel High School football coach and teacher Claude Brown is on paid administrative leave after being charged with sexual battery for reportedly having a relationship with a female student at the school.
Brown was arraigned in Akron Municipal Court Feb. 27, where Judge Alison McCarty set bond at $10,000. Brown posted a bond of $1,045 that afternoon and was released from the Summit County Jail.
Akron Police Department spokesman Lt. Rick Edwards said police were tipped off late last week that Brown, 41, of West Akron, and a 17-year-old girl were involved in a sexual relationship.
“Our detectives worked quickly on it over the weekend,” Edwards said.
According to Edwards, on the afternoon of Feb. 26, police went to Buchtel after school hours and told Brown they wanted him to come down to the police station to talk about the allegations.
“He came down to the station, made some statements, admitted to having the relationship and was charged with sexual battery,” Edwards said.
He added that Brown admitted to police he had sexual intercourse three times with the student between Dec. 15, 2006, and Feb. 23.
Sexual battery, according to Edwards, is the charge that is made when a minor and an adult authority figure have a sexual relationship.
“It was consensual sex between him and the17-year-old, but because he’s a teacher and coach, there is no such thing as a consensual relationship,” Edwards said.
Capt. Elizabeth Daugherty, assistant
subdivision commander of the Detective Bureau, said
police have evidence to support the allegations against
Brown was booked into the Summit
County Jail Monday night and appeared in court via a
video hookup the following morning.
According to the Akron Municipal
Court clerk’s office, Brown was represented in
court by attorney Paul Adamson, who entered a plea of
not guilty on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Akron Public Schools
Superintendent Sylvester Small said Brown has been placed
on paid leave.
“Any time an accusation
is made about a staff member and a student, we take
them off the job and put them on paid leave, pending
the outcome of the case,” Small said. “They
are not allowed on our property or in contact with
He added that the district also
must notify the Ohio Department of Education and update
the department once the case is concluded.
Small called Brown’s arrest
“a very tragic situation for all of us.”
“We’re all placed
in a position of trust,” Small said. “A
lot of time it’s difficult to gain a young person’s
trust, and then they learn adults are not always trustworthy.
He has a right to have his day in court. It’s
the young children, the students at Buchtel, that we
have to keep in mind.”
Small said he left it up to Buchtel
Principal Deborah Houchins to handle the situation at
the school. Houchins was not available when
called to comment for this story.
Brown has been coach of the Griffins
since 1997. He also is a social studies teacher at Buchtel.
Edwards said the case was generating
a lot of interest from media around the state.
here in West Akron for the football program,”
Edwards said. “You build that trust not only from
students and parents, but from the community as well.
As a whole, he violated that trust.”
Brown will appear in Akron Municipal
Court again for a status hearing March 9 at 8 a.m.,
according to Edwards.
Claude Brown Photo courtesy
of Akron Police Department