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Judge denies change of venue for former Huntington track coach

Nicholas Johnson, former cross-country and track coach for Huntington University, was denied his request to have his trial moved out of Huntington County. (WISH Photo)

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A judge in Huntington County has denied a change of venue request from a former Huntington University track coach accused of “Nassar-esque” abuse of women athletes.

A grand jury indicted Nicholas Johnson in March for sexual battery and battery.

No trial date is set for the case.

Johnson, his wife, and the university face a federal lawsuit from three former student-athletes who claim he inappropriately touched them, manipulated them, and injected them with substances.

The suit compares Johnson to both Larry Nassar, who was convicted of rape after being the team doctor of the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team, and the physician for Lance Armstrong, the cycling champion stripped of titles due to blood doping.