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UPDATE: Counseling approved for Belpre High School principal accused of domestic violence

(WTAP)
Published: Sep. 6, 2019 at 4:59 PM EDT
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Update: 11/7/2019

Belpre High School Principal Samuel Pepper will undergo counseling instead of jail time, for a reported domestic violence incident last summer.

In Marietta Municipal Court Wednesday, Pepper admitted to the facts in the case, and a charge of unlawful restraint was dismissed. According to court officials, a charge of domestic violence will remain until Pepper completes counseling.


UPDATE: 9/26/19 2:35 P.M.

A change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled in November for Belpre High School Samuel Pepper, who was arrested and charged with a pair of misdemeanors after police were called to his home to investigate a reported domestic-violence incident in early September.

Authorities charged Pepper, 51, with single counts of domestic violence and unlawful restraint and he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Marietta Municipal Court.

During a hearing on Thursday, a court official said the case was continued and a change-of-plea hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 6. No information about a possible plea was available.

Belpre Police went to Pepper's home on Sept. 3 after a female called 911 and said she was being held against her will. According to court records, she 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.

No one was injured during the dispute.

Pepper has continued to work since his arrest, according to Superintendent Jeffery Greenley.


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.

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