Thursday, November 5, 2009

Special ed teacher who had sex with 18 year old student pleads guilty to misdemeanor

(Original Post 8-28-09)
A suburban Cincinnati former teacher and mother was charged with having a "consensual" sexual relationship with a Winton Woods High School student who she tutored. The high school is located in Forest Park, OH. Mary Ems, a 43 year old special education teacher, resigned in March after having sex with the boy, who was not in any classes with Ems. According to Forest Park police, the sex occurred off grounds.

Ems, a divorced mother of two, was not charged with felony sexual battery, the crime alluded to in the police report. If she had been charged and convicted of that, she would have had to report as a sex offender, said Julie Wilson, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.
The victim also would have had to testify, something he is reluctant to do, school and police officials have said.

Instead, Ems' attorney and prosecutors reached an agreement on the misdemeanor sex charge, which holds a maximum sentence of six months upon conviction but no requirement to report as an offender. The charge [usually] refers to having sex with a child between the ages of 13 and 16.
In Ohio, minors are defined as those who are 18 and have not finished high school as well as those under 18.

(Update 9-15-09)
Ems formally pleaded guilty to the unlawful sexual contact with a minor charge as scheduled before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh. According to Assistant Prosecutor Anne Flanagan, the victim's non-cooperation prevented her for going after a felony conviction. Instead, the plea to the unlawful contact and surrender of teaching license will allow Ems to escape both a felon and sex offender stigma. Ems' formal sentencing will be October 29, and she can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail, but the judge is leaning towards probation.

(Update 11-5-09) Ems was formally sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh to 2 years probation yesterday. However, Ems' position at Union Christian Post Graduate Academy, a school for teenage boys 17 and older, concerned Judge Marsh. Marsh also sentenced Ems to continue counseling and to undergo a polygraph test. "I want to verify that no other child comes into contact with you and becomes a victim," Marsh said, and if Ems did not conduct herself appropriately, "We have a Hamilton County jail for individuals who can't conduct themselves as they should."

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