A verdict in the trial of a Fairfield High School teacher facing sex charges involving a student won’t be known until next month.
About 90 minutes of closing arguments were presented today in the trial of Tyler Conrad, 27, who is charged with sexual battery, a felony; sexual imposition and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, misdemeanor, involving a 16-year-old girl.
Evidence in the case concluded Tuesday when Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth dismissed one charge of sexual battery against Conrad, ruling the evidence presented did not support the charge.
Spaeth, who heard the case after Conrad waived his right to a jury trial, said he is “going to take some time to look over the evidence” and will announce his verdict in June.
During closing arguments defense attorney Chris Pagan said the 16-year-old teen repeatedly lied to Fairfield detectives and even to her parents about the alleged sexual activity when the investigation began in October.
The 16-year-old testified Monday for more two hours stating Conrad’s attention began with rubbing her shoulders and touching her leg while in his classroom then later he touched her private area on the outside of her clothing and on another occasion making penetration.
Pagan went through transcripts of the teen’s past interviews with detectives during cross-examination and she admitted she at first did not tell the whole truth, but it was because she was scared.
“She only mentioned the penetration after she was told by cops that it made a difference in the charge,” Pagan said during closing statements
The student also said Conrad picked her up in the summer of 2016 and took her to a Ross Twp. house where he began kissing her and carried her to a bedroom. When he touched her on the outside of her private area, she said she became uncomfortable and he stopped.
Again, Pagan pointed out the teen could not provide a date, but her best friend testified the girl told her about the incident over the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. Pagan introduced an alibi in the form of cell phone photos from Conrad’s phone indicating he was in Florida from May 30 to June 5.
Pagan said in closing arguments that the teen fabricated the incident at the Ross Twp. house, stating a diagram of the house she provided to police did not match up and she forgot a key element in the story — that a large dog lived at the house, which is owned by Conrad’s childhood friend.
The defense attorney said the more that 2,000 text messages between the teen and Conrad are inappropriate, but not proof of sex.
“Text messages prove an absolutely inappropriate relationship between the defendant and the teen. But not sexual conduct,” Pagan said.
Prosecutors hammered home the number of text messages and calls that the teen’s phone records show from May 6, 2016 to Oct. 9, 2016. A total of 2,876 text messages were exchanged, said Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Lindsay Sheehan.
Nearly 90 phone calls were also exchanged between Conrad and the teen during the time period, many of them in the late night and early morning hours, Sheehan said.
The content of the text messages are no longer available because Conrad told the teen to delete them.
“She testified this defendant told her to delete them “because we could both get in trouble,” Sheehan said in closing statements.
Sheehan also said the six security camera videos played for the judge corroborate the teen’s testimony about the text message activity. The videos show the teen and Conrad entering his classroom during his planning period when the teen should have been in class.
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile argued the testimony from the owner of the Ross Twp. house could not be believed because text message showed evidence of some questionable behavior between he and Conrad. She also pointed out the teen drove detectives to the house and that the diagram she drew was correct of the interior of the residence where the alleged activity occurred.
The 16-year old girl was scared about giving all the details about the incident at first because she believed she would get in trouble and “the defendant put it in her head that is what would happen,” Heile said.
Conrad has been placed on administrative leave without pay by Fairfield City Schools, pending the outcome of the case.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.