Ex-teacher charged with sex crimes explores change of venue - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Ex-teacher charged with sex crimes explores change of venue


PRINCETON (WVVA) - A former Mercer County teacher accused of sexual misconduct with students was back in court Wednesday, advocating for fairness in his upcoming trial.

Jonathan Kirk, a former teacher and coach at PikeView High School, is charged with 18 counts involving at least seven high school aged female students.

In court Wednesday, Kirk's attorney Wayne Evans asked for and was granted permission to explore the possibility of a change of venue.

Evans cited excessive media coverage of Kirk's case, questioning how fair a jury from this area would be. But Assistant Prosecutor George Sitler says the request, while allowed, should not stand.

Evans also filed for a series of separate trials on his client's charges, claiming that each victim testifying in one trial could make a jury prejudiced against Kirk.

Prosecutors questioned whether this request would be worth the extra cost associated. Judge William Sadler took the request under advisement.

In light of Wednesday's developments, Kirk's trial has been continued to June 3.


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