Belpre High School principal facing domestic-violence charge

BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - The principal of Belpre High School has been charged with a pair of misdemeanors after police were called to his home late Tuesday to investigate a domestic dispute, court records show.

Samuel Pepper, 51, was arraigned on Wednesday in Marietta Municipal Court on charges of domestic violence and unlawful restraint. He was released on a recognizance bond.

According to an affidavit of facts filed in municipal court, Belpre Police went to his home about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday after a 911 caller told authorities she was being held against her will.

According to the affidavit, the victim alleged that Pepper grabbed her neck, shoved her and held her on the ground during an argument that began earlier that night at a Parkersburg restaurant.

Police said no one was injured during the dispute.

Belpre City School Superintendent Jeffrey Greenley said Friday afternoon that district officials are monitoring the situation and that Pepper, who was hired in June, has been working since his arrest.

"We believe folks are innocent until proven guilty," he said.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 26 in municipal court.