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Published: Thursday, 3/10/2005

Charges not planned for fake recruiter

OTTAWA, Ohio - A Kenton, Ohio, man who allegedly approached two high school athletes recently saying he was a recruiter for the University of Toledo women's basketball program will not be charged with a crime, the Putnam County prosecutor said yesterday.

Prosecutor Gary Lammers said that while the man's behavior was odd, it did not constitute criminal conduct. He said Ottawa police would contact the probation officer of Stephen J. Biddinger, 54, who was convicted last year in Logan County of menacing by stalking for following and harassing a 17-year-old girl.

In recent weeks, Mr. Biddinger allegedly approached a Van Wert High School basketball player at a game at Ottawa-Glandorf High School, saying he was assisting UT Coach Mark Ehlen. He later called the girl and asked if she'd like a ride to the UT-Bowling Green women's game.

He also allegedly talked with a Perry High School player, and even visited the girls' parents at their home.

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