Investigators, parents speak at trial of chess teacher accused of fondling students

DELAWARE, OH (WCMH) — An internationally-known chess player and coach is watching and waiting for his turn to defend himself in a trial where he is accused of fondling two former students.

F. Leon Wilson is in the fourth day of his second trial. The first trial ended in February with a hung jury.

On Thursday, investigators explained why Wilson was charged. On the stand one investigator said the two little girl’s accusations were believable.

Delaware County Detective Jason Campbell interviewed the children, their parents, Wilson and other involved in the allegations. He told jurors there was clothing evidence gathered, but said he did not immediately send that evidence to the state crime lab for DNA. He said he was concerned about clothing being commingled with other family member’s clothing in the family’s laundry basket.

Asked why the evidence was eventually submitted to the lab, Detective Campbell said, “It was not my intention to have them tested. It was the prosecutor who wanted them tested.”

A crime lab expert showed the DNA evidence was inconclusive, and did not show Wilson’s DNA on any of the clothing tested. The expert showed DNA of an unknown male was found on one piece of clothing evidence.

Campbell said technical experts also examined three cell phones, one iPad, and a laptop computer seized from Wilson. “Of the electronic devices we checked there was no child pornography found on any of them,” he said.

Former Bexley Detective Peter Brickey interviewed the older girl’s mother after the alleged April 9, 2015 sexual assault.

“She said her chess class the room was dark, she said he had touched her on her legs. He asked her if he could. She did not know it was wrong. Afterwards Wilson walked her to volleyball class,” said Detective Brickey.

He said the mother told him Wilson and the little girl were alone for a short time.

The father and mother of the older of the two alleged victims, a girl under 10-years-old, testified in the afternoon. The dad said the family liked and respected Wilson. He said when his daughter was sick, Wilson encouraged him to bring her to a chess tournament anyway because, he said, ”I rely on her. She is my star player, my Tom Brady.”

When her father questioned her about Wilson’s arrest for molesting a preschooler, “She looked down and put her head down.”

She said this was something that only happened once and this was her fault, because she said yes when he asked her if he could do it.”

The mother and father said since, the young girl is wetting her bed again and has a hard time controlling her temper, something they said they had never encountered before.

“At first I felt like I was having an out-of-body-experience, then we were both just in shock,” the father said.

Wilson, 62, is charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition for the alleged incidents.

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