Teachers are an integral part of society, since they are usually entrusted with educating and supervising children. This is a sacred trust, which is why violating this trust can result in serious punishment, depending upon the nature of the crime. One Ohio high school teacher and girls’ basketball coach may be finding this out the hard way when he was brought up felony charges for sexual battery. The alleged criminal act is designated a third degree felony.

The teacher is accused of being in an almost three year long relationship with a student. The student and her family apparently communicated with the local sheriff’s department regarding the teacher’s relationship with the unidentified minor. Authorities assert that the teacher knew the victim from school, while the alleged sex crimes supposedly happened at his residence and in a local hotel.

The teacher was placed on administrative leave, according to the school district’s superintendent. The sexual battery charge against the teacher was elevated in degree because of his position of authority over the teenage girl. A criminal conviction could bring with it a fine as high as $10,000, as well as a term of incarceration from two to 10 years.

Felony charges in Ohio are serious under any circumstances. Nevertheless, this teacher is fully entitled to the same presumption of innocence that protects all people accused of a crime in Ohio. It is one thing to accuse someone of a crime but quite another to prove the allegations in court and beyond a reasonable doubt. The community will likely follow the progress of these proceedings as they develop, and it is worth noting that not everyone accused of a sex crime is guilty of the accusations. As the case heads to the courtroom, it remains to be seen if the suspicions of law enforcement authorities are backed up by the evidence necessary to sustain the felony charges.

Source: wane.com, “Ohio high school teacher arrested for sexual battery,” Nov. 7, 2012