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LaPorte school officials’ case moved to Fort Wayne

LAPORTE, Ind. – The trial of two LaPorte school officials accused of failing to report suspected sexual misconduct by a former assistant girls volleyball coach will be heard in Fort Wayne.

The LaPorte County Herald-Argus reports Judge Jennifer Koethe approved the motion for the change of venue by LaPorte Community Schools athletic director Ed Gilliland and former volleyball coach Marybeth Lebo.

The two are charged with failing to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect in the case of Robert Ashcraft, who was found guilty in 2011 of three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of child seduction. He was sentenced to 21 years.

Attorneys said the change of venue was necessary because of negative publicity resulting from an online petition urging the case to trial.