YSU professor arrested: Psychology professor accused of assaulting child

By Abigail Cloutier

Youngstown State University officials confirmed a professor in the psychology department was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest.

Stephen Ray Flora was arrested by Boardman Police Sept. 24 after a warrant was put out for his arrest.

On Aug. 26, Boardman police took a complaint from a parent who accused Flora of assaulting her son at Progressive ABA Therapy Group on Market Street. Flora’s job at ABA Therapy Group was not affiliated with his job as a professor on campus.

The parent told police that her juvenile son has been enrolled for five months for daily school and therapy and for his ADHD, anxiety, autism, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and a sleep disorder. The owners of the school called the parent on Aug. 25 and advised her that Flora handled the child “in an extremely rough and aggressive behavior”, according to a police report.

The school owners told the victim’s parent that Flora had been immediately fired.

According to the police report, Flora startled the child, which caused an outburst from the child. Flora then picked the child up by their armpits and “aggressively placed him in the chair,” according to the report. Staff said in the report that the child said Flora was hurting him and that Flora did not stop.

The parent gave police multiple written statements from staff members who witnessed or knew of the incident. The parent told police the child had multiple bruises on their legs, armpits and back and provided photos to the police.

Flora is charged with endangering children and disorderly conduct. His arraignment is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 and his pre-trial is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 2. He has pled not guilty to either charge.