By Alex Bridges
WOODSTOCK -- A judge has postponed the trial of a former Shenandoah County teacher and coach accused of instigating a hazing incident in October.
Nicholas R. Greco, 34, of 107 Black Oak Drive, Maurertown, had been scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court today to stand trial on charges of hazing, assault and battery by mob and seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor -- all misdemeanor counts.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Louis Campola and Greco's lawyer, Ian R.D. Williams, filed a joint motion late Wednesday seeking to continue the trial. Judge William H. Logan Jr. granted the motion and signed an order that afternoon, according to information from the court. Logan scheduled the trial for March 20.
The order states that the attorneys asked for the continuance "due to a key witness requiring emergency surgery on the day of the trial." The document does not identify the "key witness."
Logan also lifted the condition of Greco's $12,000 secured bond that requires the defendant to remain in Virginia. Both attorneys agreed to ask the court to lift the condition.
Greco resigned from his teaching position at Peter Muehlenburg Middle School. The School Board accepted his resignation at a Jan. 9 meeting. Greco also had coached the junior varsity football team at Central High School. School officials placed Greco on administrative leave with pay in early November while they conducted an investigation into the allegations.
Authorities in court documents accuse Greco of telling football players in his class to haze a 13-year-old boy. The Oct. 31 incident left the boy with cuts and bruises, according to authorities.
A criminal complaint indicates that Greco told team members to haze two students who fell asleep in his class. In one incident, players smacked a student on the buttocks in view of their coach. In the other, according to the complaint, players dragged a student from the nearby restaurant back to the Central campus and forced him into a locker. During the incident the student suffered a cut on the leg, the complaint states.
While the documents and Greco's charges indicate that at least seven minors took part in the hazing, Greco remains the only person charged in the incident.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org