Preble County deputy charged with sexual battery for alleged relationship with student

The deputy served for the past two years as a school resource officer for National Trail Local Schools

A Preble County Sheriff’s deputy is in jail Saturday, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student he met while on duty as a school resource officer for the National Trail Local Schools District, Sheriff Michael Simpson disclosed during a Saturday morning press conference.

Deputy Mason Williams, 26, has been formally charged in Eaton Municipal Court with sexual battery and tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies, as well as dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Williams is on paid administrative leave from the sheriff’s office pending an investigation, in accordance with the agency’s agreement with its collective bargaining unit. He is being held without bond at the Butler County Jail.

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

Williams has been employed with Preble County Sheriff’s Office since 2019. He was appointed a school resource officer around two years ago, Simpson said.

The sheriff’s office began an internal investigation Wednesday after school officials notified the department of alleged unprofessional conduct by Williams, the sheriff said.

“It was learned that a school resource officer assigned to the National Trail Local Schools was alleged to be involved in a consensual relationship with an 18-year-old student outside of the school setting,” Simpson said.

The Preble County Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Williams on Friday and he was taken into custody without incident later that day, he said.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will complete a third-party internal affairs investigation, and that agency also is handling the criminal investigation to ensure impartiality.

While the purported relationship between Williams and the student is alleged to have been consensual, Simpson said a charge of sexual battery is warranted given the circumstances.

“By being assigned to that school, he’s in a position of trust … much like a teacher or a counselor, so based on (that), it’s the appropriate charge,” he said.

Simpson noted no other students are believed to have been involved. He urged anyone who may have any additional information to reach out to the sheriff’s office at 937-456-6301.

Simpson stressed Williams’ alleged conduct does not reflect the ethics of the sheriff’s office as a whole.

“This goes against many of the core values of this office: professionalism, integrity, and making sound, ethical and moral decisions, both on duty and off duty,” he said. “I expect everyone here to operate at a very high level as it relates to these values and anything less is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.”

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