Middletown teacher under investigation resigns

Middletown teacher under investigation resigns

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A Middletown City Schools teacher is under investigation by police for possible inappropriate behavior with students, police say. An investigation began last Friday after Middletown High School Resource Officer Luke Agee was told by school administrators that a student wanted to report possible inappropriate behavior by a teacher, according to the police report. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m.:

A Middletown City Schools teacher, under investigation by police for possible inappropriate behavior with students, resigned from the district this afternoon, this news outlet has learned.

The teacher wrote he was resigning for “personal and professional reasons,” according to a one-sentence letter in his personnel folder that was reviewed by this news outlet.

This news outlet is not naming the teacher because he has not been charged.

The teacher was hired by Middletown City Schools in May 2008 and his current salary is $47,243 not including supplementals, according to his last contract.

In a letter dated Oct. 20 and signed by Deborah Houser, senior director of human resources of Middletown City Schools, the district placed the teacher on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the current investigation.

Three years ago, the teacher was charged with neglect of duty, gross negligence, failing to follow the “reasonable rules and regulations” of the board and for making an inappropriate comment to a student, according to his personnel file.

On Oct. 22, 2014, he allegedly pushed a student and made an “inappropriate” comment to the student, according to his personnel file. Nine days later he received a “written disciplinary notice.”

INITIAL REPORT:

A Middletown City Schools teacher is under investigation by police for possible inappropriate behavior with students, Lt. Scott Reeve told this newspaper.

The male teacher has been removed from contact with students, but has not been arrested, Reeve said.

In an email to the Journal-News, Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles said, “This is a personnel matter we are not able to discuss.”

An investigation began last Friday after Middletown High School Resource Officer Luke Agee was told by school administrators that a student wanted to report possible inappropriate behavior by a teacher, according to the police report.

The teacher allegedly began texting with female students before they turned 18, then after their birthdays he allegedly had sexual contact with them, Reeve told this newspaper.

It is believed there are three to five victims, Reeve said.

Because of his position as a teacher, laws may have been broken even if the students were 18 years old at the time, according to Reeve.

“As far as we know, all of the victims are at least 18. There was no forcible rape; however, the teacher is in a position of authority over the students, so it is illegal under (Ohio law for crime of sexual battery),” said Reeve.

Reeve said there was a previous complaint against the teacher last year, but that alleged victim was a college student when the allegations came to light and chose not to cooperate in the investigation.

“The most nefarious part of it is that he seems to have groomed these students with questionable text conversations waiting for them to turn 18,” Reeve said.

Detectives plan to take the results of the current investigation directly to a Butler County grand jury for consideration, according to Reeve.

Detective Jon Hoover is handling the investigation and anyone with further information about the alleged incidents can contact him at 513-425-7796.

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