Teenage boasting or sex crime? Franklin teacher’s attorney questions investigation in court

A former Franklin High School teacher entered a not guilty plea today to a sexual battery charge for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student.

During today’s court appearance, her attorney questioned what he called “the uncorroborated statement of a teenager.”

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Madalyn Arnett, 25, was arrested at her West Carrollton home in March and charged with the third-degree felony. She was indicted in April by a Warren County grand jury.

Arnett admitted to sexting with a student when confronted by school officials, according to court records.

“But this charge means there was a sexual encounter,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said. He said that contact took place in a car in a Franklin Twp. parking lot the week before Arnett was arrested.

Arnett’s attorney John H. Rion said the defense team is looking at the case more closely.

“It looks like they took the uncorroborated statement of a teenager and blew it into an indictment,” Rion said. “There seems to be little or no corroboration for this allegation. This is a lovely young lady, a dedicated teacher. She’s got her master’s degree and she has been on the fast track in terms of education and we are going to look at this case very carefully.”

In addition to social media that played a part in the case, Rion said, “it is sort of the old fashion do-you-believe-everything-a-teenager says, or is there some boasting and things of that nature?”

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Fornshell said students began talking about some of the alleged activity at school, and through cell phones, there was evidence of inappropriate communication between the student and Arnett. Further investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest.

Arnett, a first-year social studies teacher, was placed on leave March 27 by the school district. She has since resigned from her position.

Warren County Magistrate William Andrew Hasselbach continued Arnett’s $25,000 bond that was set in Franklin Municipal Court. She posted 10 percent of that bond and is free from jail. Hasselbach ordered Arnett to stay away from the teen.

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