Two-time world medalist Lester charged with sexual battery involving student

Harry Lester

Harry Lester, 2012 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler and two-time world medalist, has been charged with sexual battery involving a year-long relationship with a student at the northern Ohio high school where he had served as wrestling coach.

Justin "Harry" Lester, 35, of Uniontown, Ohio, turned himself in Thursday evening at the Summit County Jail, Akron police said in a news release.

Lester, who had served as wrestling coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary since April 2016, had been placed on unpaid leave from the Roman Catholic high school located in Akron back on April 10, 2019. At that time, a 19-year-old former St. V-M student had told Akron police that Lester assaulted her starting in January 2018 -- when she was 18 -- until early April 2019.

Lester was charged with sexual battery, a third-degree felony, after a police investigation that lasted nearly three months, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Reports indicate the crimes allegedly happened on St. V-M school grounds, at Cosgrove Center, a facility which hosts sports events.

Lester, an Akron native, had been an eight-time U.S. World Team member. In addition to being a 2012 Olympian and Pan American Games champion, among Lester's other Greco-Roman wrestling career highlights: Two-time world bronze medalist (2006, 2007), six-time U.S. Open champion, 2005 World University Games bronze medalist, and 1999 Cadet world champion.

Lester has deep wrestling roots in northeast Ohio. At Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy located in Cuyahoga Falls, Lester was a four-time Ohio state wrestling champ from 1998-2001, compiling a 165-2 overall record. He first attended Iowa State University, but later transferred to Northern Michigan University, where he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Education Center program and coached by Ivan Ivanov. Lester graduated from Northern Michigan with degrees in geography and history.


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