Former Kent State professor scheduled for mid-May pretrial

Willie Harrell, left, and his new attorney Scott Rilley, right, in Summit County’s Court of Common Pleas on Monday, May 2, 2016. 

Jacob Runnels

Willie Harrell, a former Kent State English professor, appeared in court Monday and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Summit County’s Court of Common Pleas May 16.

TV2 News: Willie Harrell Court Update from on Vimeo.

He was arrested in August of last year after he “met a 15-year-old boy with what police said was the intent to pursue a sexual relationship.” He is charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of adult curfew and three counts of importuning.

A pretrial was set last year after Harrell posted his $25,000 bond. However, because he disappeared, he was labeled a fugitive. After he was denied entrance to Canada last November, he was found and extradited from Orleans Parish, Louisiana in March to Akron.

Judge Amy Corrigall Jones appointed attorney Scott Rilley to represent Harrell. His former attorney, Kevin Breen, asked to be removed from the case because Harrell hadn’t been communicating with his family nor Breen.

Jacob Runnels is a city reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].