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Licking County middle school football coach charged with rape

Gary Stratford, of Thornville, was arrested by the Licking County Sheriff’s Office and appeared in court and given a $250,000 bond Monday.
GaryStratford

NEWARK -- A 36-year-old man was charged with rape, a first-degree felony, in Licking County Common pleas court Monday, according to an arrest warrant and criminal complaint obtained by 10TV.

Gary Stratford, of Thornville, was arrested by the Licking County Sheriff’s Office and appeared in court and given a $250,000 bond Monday.

According to the complaint, Statford is accused of having inappropriate contact with and the rape of a minor.

Stratford is a coach for the Lakewood Middle School football team. He was approved by the Lakewood Local Board of Education in its September 13 meeting, according to approved minutes on its website.

Stratford also is the vice president and safety agent for the Lakewood Youth Baseball Association, according to its website.

Stratford is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. October 5.