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McMullen v. Baldwin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 24, 2013

SHANI AND TODD MCMULLEN Petitioner-Appellees
v.
KENNETH BALDWIN Respondent-Appellant

Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2012MI00140

For Petitioner-Appellees JOHN M. PETIT PAUL E. ZINDLE Community Legal Aid Services, Inc.

For Respondent-Appellant ARNOLD F. GLANTZ Glantz Law Offices

Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

OPINION

Hoffman, P.J.

{¶1} Respondent-appellant Kenneth Baldwin appeals the July 24, 2012 Judgment Entry entered by the Stark County Court of Common Pleas granting a civil protection order in favor of Petitioner-appellees Shani and Todd McMullen.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} Respondent-appellant Kenneth Baldwin is a divorced father with custody of his daughter B.B. B.B. is in the same grade at Sandy Valley Elementary as A.M. During the time period relevant herein, Sandy Valley Elementary School allowed parents to have lunch with their children on Fridays when B.B. and A.M. were both in second grade. On several Fridays, Appellant came in to have lunch with his daughter, who sat near A.M. A.M. testified Appellant would "say, like, 'hey, ' and then he would like kind of pat me on my back or knee of something." Also, at the end of lunch immediately before class, A.M. complained Appellant would touch her food.

{¶3} A.M. became upset about Appellant touching her and her food and told her parents. Her parents then met with the school principal, who called Appellant asking him to not come to lunches in the future. Appellant explained he thought it was innocent horseplay, but agreed not to come to lunch in the future.

{¶4} In addition, Sandy Valley Elementary contacted the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Department sent a deputy to Appellant's home explaining to him, while there was no criminal wrongdoing; he was not to have further contact with A.M.

{¶5} In the spring of 2011, Appellant was at the softball fields with his daughter. A.M. was at the fields playing softball. Appellant's daughter also played softball, and he would often arrive early. Testimony presented at the full hearing herein indicates Appellant would often arrive an hour to an hour and one-half before his daughter's practices. He would stand or park by the dugout. He watched the other girls practice, including A.M.

{¶6} Christina Russell, a friend of A.M.'s parents, who was present at the softball fields testified Appellant would arrive an hour or more before his daughter's practice and watch A.M. He would spend time in the dugout with the little girls, and seemed to focus on A.M. He would stand outside his car watching practice, which included A.M.

{¶7} In the spring of 2012, Appellant brought his daughter to the softball fields to watch her friends practice. Appellant's daughter was no longer playing softball at the time. A.M. was there practicing, and her coach asked Appellant to leave. Testimony at the hearing indicated Appellant often watched the girls practice even though his daughter was not playing, and he was at the practice where A.M. was playing.

{¶8} On another occasion, A.M.'s parents allege Appellant stood outside of A.M.'s classroom without explanation staring at A.M. and her parents, although his own ...


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