Mineral Ridge coach faces charges related to hidden camera in girl’s room

Matthew Blair, Mineral Ridge teacher/coach indicted on assault and invasion of privacy charges.

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A grand jury indicted a Mineral Ridge Middle School teacher and girls varsity track coach Thursday on several charges.

Matthew Blair faces charges of interception of wire, oral or electronic communication, possessing criminal tools and voyeurism.

Mahoning County prosecutors say Blair was caught recording a young girl who was living in his home through a camera mounted on a clock radio. They say in some parts of the footage, Blair can be seen coming into the girl’s room and adjusting the camera.

District Superintendent Damon Dohar addressed the allegations against Blair.

“Obviously as an educator, as a protector of our students and children here at Mineral Ridge, it’s a disappointment that he was indicted. However though, he has his rights and he is allowed to follow the process that is available,” Dohar said.

Austintown Police raided Blair’s home in June. A First News viewer sent us video footage of cops surrounding his house.

Paula Pugh, a local parent, says she is still shocked at the thought of something like this.

“It’s very shocking and disturbing that someone that you trust your children to be educated by would do something this low.”

Dohar says Blair still has a job at the school.

“He has not resigned, he has not quit. I have not had any communication with him since the end of the school year,” he said. “He is still employed here as a teacher. He was the girl’s varsity track coach last season. At this point in time, we haven’t renewed that contract because it is not time to do that.”

The Ohio Department of Education will work with law enforcement to determine if Blair can stay in a classroom.

“Your teaching license is predicated upon certain behaviors and charges that you cannot be found guilty of,” said.

First News went to Blair’s home on Thursday for comment, but he did not answer the door.

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