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Judge rejects the former track coach’s request to switch venues



Huntington County, Indiana – An ex-track coach for Huntington University requested a change of venue for his impending sexual violence trial, but the judge in Huntington Superior Court rejected the request more than a month later.

According to court documents, the judge denied the application on June 2.

33-year-old Nicholas Johnson’s attorneys argued in a motion submitted to the court in April that he could not have a fair trial in Huntington County due to a number of factors, including publicity surrounding a lawsuit he and his wife were involved in as well as a prior criminal conviction that had sparked public outrage.

In addition to being mentioned in a complaint in which former Huntington athletes accuse Johnson of sexual assault, rape, and providing them with performance-enhancing medications unlawfully, Johnson is being charged with felony sexual battery.

The lawsuit also names Johnson’s wife, Lauren Johnson, a former Huntington University track star, alleging that the two ran a doping operation and that other administrators were aware of the abuse occurring in the school’s track and field program.

The case does not yet have a trial date, but a pre-trial conference is slated for July 18.

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