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Courts and Crime

A Stark County defense attorney is challenging a fine going to Sandy Hook
Scott Studer's lawyer says a fine for a Stark County crime belongs in Stark County's treasury

Ozie Ikuenobe
In The Region:

A defense lawyer says a Stark County judge had no right to order that a $5,000 fine be sent to help the victims of the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

Within days of those shootings, Stark County Common Pleas Frank Forchione sentenced former Jackson High School coach Scott Studer to 15 years in prison for taping high school athletes in the locker room.

He also included the fine, and ordered that it be sent to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

But Studer’s attorney, Craig Conley, says the law does not allow the money to go out of the county, and that Forchione may have been playing for media attention.

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“This is a 1986 statute. So that’s 27 years. The case law goes back to the 90s, 20-something years. He should have known. And the Ohio Supreme Court requires all attorneys to be competent in their area of practice, requires all judges to be competent, to know the law that they’re faced with.”

But Conley acknowledges getting the money back could be tough. He says the judge would have to ask for the money back from the support fund or by it coming out of his own pocket.

Forchione could not be reached for comment.

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