Springboro schools still faces federal trial over ex-gym teacher

Credit: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction

Credit: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction

A motion made in July by the Springboro Community City School District was partially approved and denied this month by a federal judge in the latest step in a class action suit in the aftermath of the John Austin Hopkins sexual abuse case.

Hopkins, a former gym teacher was convicted in March 2020 on 34 of 36 counts of gross sexual imposition involving 27 of 28 first-grade girls at Clearcreek Elementary School during the 2018-19 school year.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison and designated as a Tier II sexual offender. After Hopkins is released, he will be required to register his address every six months with his local sheriff’s office for 25 years.

A group of a dozen parents filed a civil suit in September 2019 in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati against the school district, former superintendent Daniel Schroer, Clearcreek Elementary Principal Carrie Corder, and Hopkins.

In the lawsuit, they claimed intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery; reckless supervision/failure to monitor, discover and report; violation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment; and violation of Title IX.

In July, the district moved to have the claims dismissed against Schroer and Corder, citing that it was redundant because they were representing the district which was already named in the lawsuit.

In U.S. District Court, Judge Timothy Black ruled April 15 that he agreed it was redundant, but that was not enough to dismiss Schroer and Corder as defendants. Also in his ruling, Black said the parents cannot go after the district for punitive damages.

The court website did not have any additional information on the case.

The 12th District Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of Hopkins in November.

Hopkins is incarcerated in the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction records show.

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