Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Teacher accused of sex with student




By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA TOWNSHIP — A veteran English teacher and coach was arrested at Amelia High School on Tuesday and charged with having a sexual relationship with a female student in the mid-1990s.

        The Clermont County Sheriff's Office charged Jeffrey C. Sears, 40, of Amelia, with sexual battery. The charge is a third-degree felony, which carries a potential five-year prison term and a $10,000 fine.

        The charge against Mr. Sears, who is also a baseball and wrestling coach, came as a result of an investigation of allegations that he engaged in sexual conduct with a girl who was then 17, the sheriff's office said.

        “We received some information that this may have occurred,” Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg Jr. said Tuesday. “The young lady involved was interviewed and confirmed, in fact, it did happen. Her version of what occurred was verified through additional investigative means.”

        Mr. Sears, who was arrested at the high school Tuesday afternoon, is in the Clermont County Jail awaiting a bond hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. today in Clermont County Municipal Court.

        The case is being reviewed by the county prosecutor's office, and additional charges may be filed, the sheriff's office said.

        Any current or former students of Mr. Sears who may have information concerning any incidents of sexual misconduct on his part are asked to call the sheriff's investigative unit at 732-7545.

        John Abegglen, assistant superintendent for West Clermont Schools, said Tuesday night that Mr. Sears “has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district.”

        Mr. Abegglen said he was not aware of any prior complaints about Mr. Sears' conduct at the school.

        “He's been a good teacher,” he said.

       



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