Ex-Mercer teacher seeks change of venue for trial

PRINCETON (AP) — A former PikeView High School teacher and coach is seeking a change of venue for his trial on charges of sexually abusing students.

Jonathan Kirk is scheduled to stand trial July 29 in Mercer County Circuit Court. The charges include sexual abuse by a parent or custodian and use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Kirk is asking the court to move the trial to another county because of pre-trial publicity.

Judge William Sadler said Monday during a hearing that he would rule on the request on July 11.

Kirk had pleaded guilty last November to one sexual abuse count and six counts of distribution of obscene material to a child. Sadler rejected the plea agreement in January.

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