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Juvenile Division

Division Assistant Prosecutors

Michelle L. Cordova, Division Chief, started working in the Juvenile Division of the Stark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in 1996, and has worked in the Criminal and Civil Divisions.  In 2004, she became the Chief of the Juvenile Division where she oversees the operation of the division, including the assistant prosecutors, interns and support staff.  Ms. Cordova graduated from Perry High School in 1988, received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in English from Ohio University in 1992, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron, School of Law in 1996.  Prior to her employment with this office she served an internship with the United States House of Representatives in 1994 and worked for the City of Akron Law Department from 1993 to 1996.

      Darci M. Knight
      Jill A. Morgan

      Megan E. Starrett
Daniel J. Petricini

Assistant Prosecutor
Assistant Prosecutor
Assistant Prosecutor
Assistant Prosecutor


The Juvenile Division of the Stark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office handles the prosecution of all juvenile cases in the county, including traffic violations, status offenses, misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses.  The Juvenile Division is also responsible for the prosecution of adults for certain criminal offenses involving juveniles, including Contributing to the Unruliness or Delinquency of a Minor, Failure to Send a Child to School and some types of Child Endangering.  The Assistant Prosecutors are involved in every aspect of these cases from reviewing and filing complaints to arraignment, pretrial, plea or trial and disposition.

The Juvenile Division handles approximately 4,500 cases per year.  Some cases are referred to diversion programs such as Informal Hearings or Teen Court.  All other cases are filed with the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division, also referred to as Juvenile Court.  These cases are heard before a Judge or Magistrate.

Over the years, increases in the incidence and severity of juvenile crime have prompted changes in Ohio law governing juveniles.  Serious felony offenders may be subject to “bindover” or transfer of jurisdiction from Juvenile Court to the Court of Common Pleas General Division for prosecution as an adult, or to Serious Youth Offender designation and “blended sentencing” where the juvenile receives a juvenile disposition as well as an adult sentence, which can be served if the juvenile fails to comply with the juvenile disposition.



A juvenile who has 12 or more un-excused absences per school year, 7 per month, or 5 consecutive un-excused absences, could be charged with Habitual Truancy.  A juvenile who has 15 or more un-excused absences per school year, 10 per month, or 7 consecutive un-excused absences, could be charged with Chronic Truancy. A juvenile’s first adjudication for Habitual Truancy is an unruly offense.  Chronic Truancy and subsequent adjudications for Habitual Truancy are delinquency offenses.

A parent or guardian who fails to send a child to school regularly could be charged with a Violation of School Attendance Laws, or Contributing to the Unruliness of a Child by Failure to Send Child to School, which is subject to a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.


Parents and Guardians

As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your child’s friends under the age of 21 under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent’s permission.  You cannot allow your child’s friends under 21, to remain in your home or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol.

If you do either of the above, you can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.  Police officers can confiscate any alcohol, money, or property used in committing the offense.  In addition, others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21, and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves, or damage property.

To report underage drinking, call your local police department or 1-877-4-MINORS.

A juvenile has the right to an attorney for every hearing.  Those who cannot afford an attorney have the right to an attorney.  The Public Defender’s Office can be reached at 330-451-7200.  A $25.00 application fee may apply for the Public Defender’s services.


Child Abuse Protection

One assistant prosecutor is assigned to handle all cases involving victims of child abuse or child sexual assault perpetrated by juveniles.  That assistant prosecutor is a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Task Force and participates in weekly Team Review meetings to review cases referred by the Department of Job and Family Services or local law enforcement agencies.  The assistant prosecutor works closely with a specialized victim advocate throughout the legal process, including meeting with child victims and their families at the Child Advocacy Center, a child friendly facility housing investigators, social workers, medical and mental health care professionals.  The specialized assistant prosecutor handles the cases from arraignment, through pretrial, trial, sentencing or “disposition” and juvenile sex offender registration if applicable.


Internet Safety
Parent Liability for Delinquent Acts of Juvenile



To report child pornography and/or sexual exploitation of children, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Cyber Tip line at www.cybertipline.com and/or our local FBI Field Office:

FBI Cleveland
Federal Office Building
1501 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland , Ohio 44114

(216) 522-1400

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org
Strengthening Families: http://www.strengtheningfamilies.org

Youth Programs:

Americorps: http://www.americorps.org
Big Brothers/Sisters: http://www.bbbsa.org
Boy Scouts: http://www.scouting.org
Girl Scouts: http://www.girlscouts.org
Pegasus Farm: http://www.pegasusfarm.org
USA Freedomcorps: http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov
YMCA of Stark: http://www.ymcastark.org



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