Logan Co. superintendent accused of not reporting rape on unpaid leave

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Heather O'Donnell on unpaid leave

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Logan County superintendent accused of not reporting child sexual abuse was placed on unpaid leave last week.

Heather O’Donnell, the superintendent at Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, has been charged with two counts of child endangering in connection with child rape charges lodged against her husband, Indian Lake Superintendent Patrick O’Donnell.

MORE: Logan County superintendent suspended after endangering charges

She was suspended by the Midwest Regional board on July 14 and the board agreed to place her on voluntary unpaid leave on Aug. 17.

“The justice system will proceed and determine her guilt or innocence and the ESC reserves the right to take further action depending on the outcome,” a news release issued by the Midwest board says.

Her attorney, Sam Shamansky, said his client is innocent and he is confident a jury will find her innocent of any wrongdoing.

“Heather is wrongly accused,” he said. “She had never engaged in any sort of criminal behavior that is alleged in the indictment. She is ready to go before a jury of her peers.”

He said his client never hid any sexual assault.

“When this case is fully and fairly presented during a jury trial, people will have the full story,” Shamansky said.

Calls to the Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart weren’t returned. The school board previously said in a statement that the charges filed against Heather O’Donnell were “horrible.”

MORE: Logan County school superintendent indicted on child rape charges

“The ESC remains committed to our first priority — partnering with school districts to improve outcomes for students and families,” the news release says. “We are committed to working with any member district, staff member, student or family who has concerns about anything surrounding our ESC, including this issue.”

Calls from the Springfield News-Sun to the attorney for Patrick O’Donnell weren’t returned.

A Logan County grand jury indicted Heather O’Donnell and Patrick O’Donnell on July 11. Patrick O’Donnell faces several charges — four counts of rape-victim under 13, four counts of sexual battery and six counts of gross sexual imposition. Indian Lake Local Schools board of education has moved to terminate him but he has filed an appeal of that process, according to school board meeting minutes.

Investigators have said the alleged rapes occurred over a three-year period and involve a single child who’s now 13. That child isn’t a student at Indian Lake and was known to both O’Donnells, according to police.

MORE: Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges

The police have alleged the child went to Heather O’Donnell at least two times to report the abuse to her but Heather O’Donnell allegedly didn’t report the accusations to authorities.

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