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Eric Fairman: Former teacher, coach facing sexual abuse charges appears in court

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Eric Fairman, the former McKeesport teacher and youth coach will head to trial July 10, 2023. Eleven young men, who were 10-12 at the time, accuse Fairman, their baseball coach, of child sex crimes including statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, promoting prostitution and sex assault.

“Largely most of these young men considered Eric a friend at some point in time,” Fairman’s defense lawyer, Chuck Porter, described his client. “These cases are very sad. I think he’s fairly likable. I’d call him a stand-up guy.”

Court documents say the crimes happened over a course of several years.  Fairman was a math teacher at McKeesport Middle School, the varsity baseball coach at Keystone Oaks and a coach and substitute teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School.

“I think there’s always circumstances in these situations that the public doesn’t necessarily know,” Porter added. “Life experiences come into play when we’re dealing with these types of situations.”

The defense said the burden of proof is on the prosecution, so Fairman entered a not-guilty plea. The prosecution is pushing for one trial where all 11 victims, now young adults, will testify against Fairman. The defense says that’s not the only option on the table.

“We could conceivably have 11 separate trials and we’ll cross that bridge as we go forward,” Porter said.

While there is no DNA evidence, the prosecution says they have a mountain of computer and cellphone evidence — so much so they’re still trying to get it all on a hard drive to share with Fairman’s lawyer. A judge will determine if there’s one trial or multiple trials after hearing arguments from both sides.

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