Marling requested house arrest, wanted early freedom after evading prison sentence


By Staff Report

If only getting less than a year behind bars for sexually assaulting multiple elementary-aged children wasn’t enough, a disgraced former Tri-Valley Schools administrator wanted the local court to allow him to finish his sentence at home to ‘lessen the burden’ on his family.

At sentencing, Cory Marling showed little emotion and offered little accountability for his actions, downplaying the seriousness of his crimes and the life-long repercussions they had and will continue to have on his victims.

With not much time now left on his sentence, the man that many in the community see as a predator will soon be allowed out of his jail cell and able to walk free, not even required to register as a sex offender after prosecutors dropped all felony charges, leaving local judges with their hands tied and unable to hold the former principal any more accountable.

As our readers will note, Y-City News has been the only media outlet to go below surface level and investigate Marling, his crimes and how so many turned a blind eye, allowing the number of victims to continue to grow.

Investigative pieces such as Felony Charges against Marling Dropped and Marling begins Sentence as Community Searches for Answers attempted to piece together what happened and how someone who was facing the rest of his natural life behind bars somehow managed a plea deal in which he could only get at most a year in the county jail and would not be required to register as a sex offender. Other investigative pieces on the matter are ongoing.

By all accounts, Marling was a rising star, a leader in his community and someone many could easily see as the district’s next superintendent. However, hidden from the public eye was a much different reality, Marling had a thing for little girls, the ones in elementary school.

Eventually, an out-of-county report would force law enforcement to pull back the veil of what was really going on, but not before other administrators, it appears by many accounts, helped conceal the abuse, including possibly the school’s resource officer, a member of the county sheriff’s department.

The case took many surprising turns, including when the district’s superintendent had his cell phone taken, an action we are told rarely if ever happens in school sex abuse cases.

Eventually, charges were brought against Marling, 11 counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, for which he would have faced, if convicted, possibly the rest of his life behind bars.

The pandemic caused delays, forcing the trial to be pushed back. Many witnesses were slated to be called, including school administrators and board members.

In August, Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch, saying it was the hardest decision of his career, dropped felony charges against Marling, securing a plea deal that avoided a trial but also a prison sentence.

At sentencing, County Judge Jay Vinsel handed down the toughest sentence he could that would also ensure Marling would be forced to serve three years of probation, 340 days in the county jail.

In April, after only serving roughly half his sentence, Marling, thought his attorney James Linehan, filed to serve his remaining jail sentence via house arrest.

According to his attorney, while out on bond, Marling was ‘a model probationer.’

“The defendant is married and has a three-year-old daughter,” Linehan wrote on behalf of Marling. “The defendant’s sentence has imposed significant consequences upon his family members. It is the defendant’s sincere desire to be able to maintain employment while serving out the remainder of this sentence in order to lessen the burdens that he has imposed upon his family.”

Linehan writes that Marling was employed by Settle and Son Excavating and Hauling. Scott Settles wrote a letter to the judge asking that Marling be allowed out on work release.

“Cory had a job and had started working for us here at Settles and Son Excavating and Hauling as a labor/truck driver and was working out well with us,” wrote Settles.

In response to the request, Assistant Muskingum County Prosecutor Gerald Anderson wrote that Marling has failed to show any remorse for his actions and that asking for house arrest with a work release permit only further illustrates that ‘he has no intention of changing.’

“He refused to accept responsibility for the harm he imposed on those young children, and would only admit that he attempted to harm them,” wrote Anderson. “Releasing him from jail so that he could be at home, or go to work, would put other children at risk, be a disservice to our community, and most importantly, demean the suffering of his victims and their family.”

Judge Vinsel found no favor with Marling, denying his request.

“The defendant was sentenced on October 1, 2021, to 340 days in jail and 36 months of probation,” wrote Vinsel. “A minimum sentence for a heinous crime, but the maximum this court could allow given the charges filed in this matter. The Court was and is appalled by the pervasive and utter failure of the system of the administration/mandated reporters which should be in place to insure the safety of the defendant’s victims in this case.”

Marling remains held in the Muskingum County Jail and will soon be released. Unlike in many child sex abuse cases involving public school employees, it doesn’t appear that any of his victims or their families have filed civil cases against Marling or the Tri-Valley Local School District for monetary claims. Typically, settlements of this nature can range anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars per victim.

Do you have additional details about this case or other information you think we should know, including information about local/regional corruption? Y-City News would like to hear from you. Contact us at (740) 562-6252, email us at or mail us at PO Box 686, Zanesville, Ohio 43701. All sources are kept strictly confidential.