June trial set for Columbus chess teacher


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



Wilson

Wilson


A June trial date has been scheduled for a former Columbus chess teacher accused of inappropriately touching students.

Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger set a trial date of June 6 for the second jury trial of F. Leon Wilson, 62, of 2785 Castlewood Road, Columbus, a former chess teacher accused of gross sexual imposition during chess lessons in 2015.

Wilson stood trial in February and, after 3½ days of testimony and two days of deliberating, the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Krueger declared a mistrial and dismissed the jury.

Prosecutors announced their intention to retry the case on March 9 after consulting with the families of the alleged victims, 4-year-old and 7-year-old girls.

Wilson’s attorney, Bradley Koffel, could not be reached for comment.

Wilson is still charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition, which are fourth-degree felonies.

Wilson is accused of touching a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old during chess lessons in 2015. He was indicted on two of the charges in April 2015 and was indicted again in July on the third charge after the 7-year-old and her family came forward to talk to authorities.

Wilson has said the offenses “never happened” and said he was disappointed in the jury’s lack of a verdict.

Wilson is out on bond. At the request of Wilson’s attorneys, Krueger agreed to remove GPS monitoring after the jury was dismissed.

Koffel filed a motion on March 10, asking the judge to remove the house arrest condition of Wilson’s bond. Krueger had not ruled on that motion Monday.

Koffel said the evidence in the case is circumstantial and relies entirely on the testimony of the two children.

The two girls were interviewed by forensic specialists at the Child Advocacy Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital after they told their parents that Wilson touched their vaginas over their clothes during lessons. The 4-year-old also told the forensic interviewer at Nationwide that Wilson touched her buttocks.

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By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.