A preliminary hearing has been scheduled Friday, Oct. 19, in Franklin County Municipal Court for an instructional aide and coach in Westerville, who was arrested and taken into custody Oct. 9 on suspicion of trading child pornography.
Donte M. Martin, 29, of Columbus was being held on a $50,085 bond after an arraignment hearing held Oct. 10, according to court records.
Greg Viebranz, the district's executive director of communications and technology, said Martin's employment was terminated immediately following his arrest.
Martin was first assigned to the district in 2016.
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin announced Oct. 9 that Martin, an Educational Service Center of Central Ohio employee working as an instructional aide and coach in the Westerville City School District, was arrested and taken into custody. Martin was charged with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, a second-degree felony.
The arrest, coordinated by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, took place at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 at Martin's place of employment at Walnut Springs Middle School, 888 E. Walnut Street.
Acting on multiple tips, Baldwin said, the task force was able to confirm the suspect's identity and arrest him swiftly and simultaneously execute a search warrant at Martin's home.
One computer, one tablet and multiple cellphones were recovered from the residence, and they're being processed, Baldwin said.
Baldwin said detectives don't believe anything happened to children physically.
Franklin County Municipal Court records show the alleged incident occurred on Aug. 11.
"This is a shock to everyone," said Paul Hopkins, the school district's executive director of human resources and employee relations, in an email communication to district families. "Because this is an ongoing investigation, we do not have many details. We pledge our continued cooperation during the investigation and support to our students, staff and families as we move forward."
Martin is suspected of acquiring and sharing online pornography involving minors, Hopkins said.
He was an instructional aide at Blendon Middle School during the 2016-17 school year and an instructional aide at Walnut Springs Middle School for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
Viebranz said Martin coached wrestling and eighth-grade football at Walnut Springs during the 2017-18 school year, and he coached seventh-grade football at Walnut Springs this year. He also has served as assistant girls track coach at Blendon Middle School since 2016.