Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown County, OH teacher pleads to sexual assault

(Original Post 6-4-09)

Heidi Mullinnix, a married Brown County, OH teacher, is expected to resign her position today after pleading guilty to a single count of sexual battery for a relationship she had with a 17 year old student in the late winter of 2004. Mullinnx was a special ed teacher who also coached basketball, most recently the junior varsity girls level.

The now 29 year old woman admitted she had a sexual relationship with the boy back in 2004. The victim was not her student or player, and the encounters took place off campus. A Brown County Grand Jury would have heard evidence in this case, but the perp plead guilty using a "bill of particulars," admitting the facts in the potential indictment were true.

Sentencing is set for July 1, but teachers who sleep with their students are automatically registered as sexual predators in Ohio, a status which requires lifetime registration with quarterly reporting to the police.

(Update 7-8-09) A week ago today, Mullinnix was sentenced to a year in prison, despite the recommendation of community control (house arrest) sans prison time made by Brown County prosecutors. Brown County Court of Common Pleas Judge Scott. T. Gusweiler also classified Mullinnix as a tier 3 sex offender, meaning that she must register every 90 days for life as a sexual predator.

There was also confusion, according to Mullinnix's attorney Katherine M. Kelly about the plea. Kelly said that her client thought sexual battery was a Tier 2 crime, requiring registration for only 25 years, and that when she found out otherwise, was willing to plead guilty to gross sexual imposition, a crime which actually is only Tier 2.

After Judge Gusweiler denied the motion to modify the plea, Mullinnix was led off to the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, OH.

No comments: