If just less than a year behind bars for sexually molesting several elementary-aged children wasn’t enough, a disgraced former Tri-Valley Schools administrator wanted the local court to allow him to finish his sentence at home for ” lighten the burden” on his family.
During sentencing, Cory Marling showed little emotion and accountability for his actions, downplaying the severity of his crimes and the lifelong impact they have had and will continue to have on his victims.
With little time left to serve his sentence, the man many in the community see as a predator will soon be allowed out of his prison cell and be able to roam freely, without even having to register as a sex offender after prosecutors drop all crimes. charges, leaving local judges with their hands tied and unable to hold the former director more accountable.
As our readers will note, Y-City News was the only outlet to go below the surface and investigate Marling, his crimes, and how many people turned a blind eye, allowing the victim count to continue to rise.
Investigative pieces such as Felony charges against Marling dropped and Marling begins his sentence as the community seeks answers tried to piece together what happened and how someone who was facing the rest of his natural life behind bars somehow got a plea deal he could only go through a maximum of one year in the county jail and would not be required to register as a sex offender. Further investigative pieces on the matter are ongoing.
By all accounts, Marling was a rising star, a leader in his community, and someone many could easily see as the next district superintendent. However, hidden from the public eye was a much different reality, Marling had a soft spot for little girls, those in primary school.
Eventually, an out-of-county report would force law enforcement to lift the lid on what was really going on, but not before other administrators, according to numerous accounts, had helped cover up the abuse, including possibly be the school resource officer, a member of the county sheriff’s department.
The case took many surprising turns, notably when the the district superintendent had his cell phone takenan action we are rarely, if ever, told about in school sexual abuse cases.
Ultimately, charges were brought against Marling11 counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, for which he would have faced, if convicted, possibly the rest of his life behind bars.
The pandemic has caused delays, forcing the trial to be pushed back. Many witnesses had to be called, including school administrators and council members.
In August, Muskingum County District Attorney Ron Welch, saying it was the toughest decision of his career, dropped felony charges against Marling, securing a plea deal that avoided a trial but also a prison sentence.
At sentencing, County Judge Jay Vinsel handed down the harshest possible sentence that would also ensure Marling would be forced to serve three years probation, 340 days in the county jail.
In April, after serving only about half of his sentence, Marling, his lawyer James Linehan believed, asked to serve his remaining prison term via house arrest.
According to his lawyer, while on bail, Marling was “a model probationer”.
“Defendant is married and has a three-year-old daughter,” Linehan wrote on Marling’s behalf. “The defendant’s conviction imposed significant consequences on his family members. It is the defendant’s sincere desire to be able to keep his job while serving the remainder of this sentence in order to ease the burdens he has placed on his family. »
Linehan writes that Marling was employed by Settle and Son Excavating and Hauling. Scott Settles wrote a letter to the judge asking that Marling be allowed out on labor release.
“Cory had a job and started working for us here at Settles and Son Excavating and Hauling as a truck driver and worked well with us,” Settles wrote.
In response to the request, Muskingum County Assistant District Attorney Gerald Anderson wrote that Marling had shown no remorse for his actions and that seeking house arrest with a work permit only further illustrates that “he has no intention of changing”.
“He refused to accept responsibility for the harm he inflicted on these young children and would not admit that he attempted to harm them,” Anderson wrote. “Releasing him from prison so he can be home or go to work would put other children at risk, do a disservice to our community and, most importantly, lessen the suffering of his victims and their families.”
Judge Vinsel found no favor with Marling, denying his request.
“Defendant was sentenced on October 1, 2021 to 340 days in jail and 36 months probation,” Vinsel wrote. “A minimum sentence for a heinous crime, but the maximum this court could allow given the charges in this case. The Court was and is appalled by the widespread and utter failure of the system of mandated administration/journalists that should be in place to ensure the safety of the victims of the accused in this case. »
Marling remains being held in Muskingum County Jail and will soon be released. Unlike many child sexual abuse cases involving public school employees, it does not appear that any of his victims or their families have filed civil lawsuits against Marling or the local Tri-Valley School District. for monetary claims. Typically, settlements of this nature can range from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars per victim.
Do you have any additional details on this case or other information that you think we should know, including information on local/regional corruption? Y-City News would like to hear from you. Contact us at (740) 562-6252, email us at [email protected] or mail us at PO Box 686, Zanesville, Ohio 43701. All sources are strictly confidential.