Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Ex-teacher guilty in sex case

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — William Reid Shoker, 31, is losing his career, his freedom and perhaps his marriage because of his relationship with a teen-age girl.

        Formerly a teacher and an Oxford resident, Mr. Shoker on Monday admitted to two sex charges involving a 14-year-old girl who was a student at National Trail Middle School in Preble County, where he last taught. Mr. Shoker and the girl apparently met about a year ago, when he coached her on a school basketball team, said Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper.

        Mr. Shoker had once taught for the New Miami Local Schools in Butler County but left that district on good terms, Mr. Piper said.

        The improprieties with the Eaton-area girl occurred between October and December 2000 at a residence in Preble County and at Mr. Shoker's former residence in Oxford, Mr. Piper said.

        Mr. Shoker's wife, Jennifer, filed for dissolution of their marriage last month; Mr. Shoker resigned Jan. 11 from the National Trail position he had held since 1997 and has promised he will not seek reinstatement of his teaching certificate, officials said.

        Mr. Shoker pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony because of the girl's age. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years, but he could be eligible for release by a judge after he serves 180 days.

        The girl's family members were present in Butler County Common Pleas Court to hear Mr. Shoker's plea, but they declined to comment. In exchange for Mr. Shoker's guilty pleas, Mr. Piper promised not to file any more charges on behalf of the same victim.

        Mr. Shoker's lawyer, Michael T. Gmoser, said, “Con trition begins with acceptance and accountability - and that certainly was what we had here (Monday).” He offered no further comment.

        David Lindloff, an investigator for the Preble County Prosecutor's Office, said Mr. Shoker's involvement with the girl came to light after his behavior around her aroused suspicions. National Trail school officials contacted the Preble sheriff, leading to an investigation that included the Preble prosecu tor's office, Mr. Lindloff said.

        Mike Trego, superintendent of the National Trail school district, declined to comment about the reasons Mr. Shoker resigned from the district, where he also had been a football coach.

        Butler County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney said Mr. Shoker could remain free while awaiting an April 30 sentencing hearing, but forbade him from having contact with children. She also ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation and a test for the virus that causes AIDS.


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