Former teacher pleads not guilty to charges

LISBON – A former substitute teacher accused of trying to solicit sex from an underage girl, among other things, pleaded innocent to the charges Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Chad R. Grey, 27, Gilson Avenue, Liverpool Township, was arraigned in court on charges of importuning, illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The first two offenses are fifth-degree felonies, while the last one is a misdemeanor.

Grey will remain free on $10,000 bond and a pretrial hearing is to be scheduled. He is represented by East Palestine attorney James Hartford.

Grey is accused of soliciting (importuning) an East Liverpool-area girl to engage in sexual activity. The girl was between the age of 13 and 15 when the alleged offense occurred in October/November 2013.

The charge of using a minor in nudity oriented material or performance involves nude photographs of the same victim, according to Assistant County Prosecutor Tim McNicol. Like the sexual importuning charge, this charge was based on material found in Grey’s cellphone.

McNicol said Grey did not meet the abovementioned victim through his job as a substitute teacher, but his former position played a role in the misdemeanor charge, which involves allegedly sending cellphone photographs of his genitalia to an 11-year-old girl on Nov. 20, 2013. Some of the photos reportedly included his face.

Grey met the 11-year-old girl while he was a substitute gym teacher at West Point Elementary School, which is part of the Beaver Local school district. According to court records, Grey sent the photo to the girl after contacting her on Facebook and identifying himself as her former substitute gym teacher.

Investigators contacted Beaver Local officials, who reported that Grey was no longer employed by the district and they learned in 2012 he was sending inappropriate text messages to high school girls.

After being arrested and confronted with the evidence, Grey allegedly confessed to taking and sending the photos and knowing the West Point girl was a minor.