Milton-Union custodian pleads not guilty to child rape charges

TROY — A custodian at the Milton Union Schools pleaded not guilty to felony charges of rape of a child younger than 10, gross sexual imposition and intimidation of a witness or victim Thursday in Miami County Common Pleas Court where his bail was continued at $800,000 cash.

Jerry North, 59, of West Milton was arrested by West Milton police after after a complaint was filed alleging North had inappropriate interactions with a child younger than 13 while working as a school custodian. The incidents are alleged to have happened two or more years ago after school hours on school property, police Chief Doyle Wright said.

Credit: Miami County Jail

Credit: Miami County Jail

The indictment includes three felony one counts of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of intimidation. The charges allege the illegal activity took place between 2018 and 2021. North was placed on unpaid leave by the school district, according to Superintendent Brad Ritchey.

North made the pleas before Judge Stacy Wall, who asked him if he was on probation or related court restrictions. “Never in my life,” North said.

Assistant county prosecutor Matthew Joseph asked Wall to continue the cash bond set earlier in county Municipal Court. He asked she take into consideration the age of the alleged victim and the safety of the community.

Defense lawyer Anthony Comunale of Dayton filed a written motion Wednesday to modify the bond. Wall said a hearing on the motion will be held May 24.

In the motion, Comunale said the bond amount is not reasonable and that North is a lifelong county resident,  had no criminal record and is not a flight risk. He also stated that the “matters appear to  concern allegations previously administratively investigated for which Mr. North was found not responsible.”

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