ELYRIA — The former president of the Amherst Youth Football Association who stole from the league has been indicted for allegedly trying to blackmail a Columbia Schools teacher who allegedly sent his son topless photos of herself.
Tyrone Price, 38, was served with the secret indictment for two counts of extortion on Friday. The 46-year-old teacher has not yet been charged, but Lorain County sheriff’s Detective Mike Lopez said she will face a misdemeanor count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The Chronicle-Telegram generally does not identify uncharged suspects.
Price’s son was dating the teacher’s daughter and had made comments comparing how the two looked, playing “mind games” with the woman, Lopez said. The teacher allegedly sent the boy, who attended a different school district, photos of herself in a bra and later topless pictures of herself.
Price’s defense attorney, Mike Duff, said the boy was in eighth grade at the time.
Lopez said after Price found the photos on his son’s phone, he contacted the woman’s daughter on Facebook to ask for her mother’s phone number. Price then called the mother and told her he didn’t want her husband or the police to find out about the photos, Lopez said.
Through a series of calls and text messages, Price began asking for things from the woman to keep the photographs a secret, Lopez said. He first asked for an Xbox, which the woman said she couldn’t buy without her husband finding out.
The teacher eventually sold some jewelry, borrowed some money and gave Price $300, Lopez said. But Price demanded more, at one point telling her to sell her wedding ring, Lopez said.
When the women refused, Price suggested she claim to lose the diamond in the ring and file an insurance claim, Lopez said.
The teacher eventually contacted deputies, who launched an investigation.
The extortion scheme took place in December 2010, according to the indictment, and Lopez said Price was being investigated by Amherst police for stealing from the football league at the time.
Lopez said deputies eventually determined that Price no longer had copies of the photographs, although he believed he could still get them. He had been telling the woman that he still had the pictures, according to Lopez.
Duff denied his client was trying to blackmail the teacher.
“This woman is making this allegation because she was involved in inappropriate behavior with my client’s son and he caught her,” Duff said.
He insisted that the teacher never gave Price any money.
“She tried to entrap him in an allegation to extricate herself from the predicament she found herself in,” Duff said.
Kenneth Lieux, the teacher’s attorney, said his client is the victim in the case.
“She is cooperating with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office as the victim of an extortion attempt by Tyrone Price,” Lieux said. “We intend to handle her case in Elyria Municipal Court.”
Columbia Schools Superintendent Graig Bansek said Friday that he is aware of the allegations involving the teacher, and the district intends to conduct an investigation but not interfere with the judicial process. He said the teacher remained on the job Friday.
Price was placed in a court-run diversion program opposed by prosecutors after pleading guilty to theft and misuse of a credit card charges last month. Those who complete diversion programs successfully have the charges against them dropped.
As part of the diversion program, Price repaid $23,556 that he stole from the football league he ran from 2006 until his resignation in May 2010. Duff has previously said that Price was a sloppy bookkeeper and never intended to steal any money.
Duff said the latest charges would likely impact only Price’s diversion if he’s convicted.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.