Special ed teacher charged with having sex with female student
Sex Offenders and Others In Positions of Trust, Long Island News, Shame On You
October 31, 2018
New York Post
A special education teacher in Ohio allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old female student, authorities said.
Jennifer Walsh, a 26-year-old teacher at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, was indicted by a grand jury Monday on two counts of sexual battery in connection with the alleged relationship with the teen from May through August, WXIX reports. Police in Montgomery launched an investigation into a sexual battery complaint on Oct. 18 after an investigator from Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services agency reported an incident involving Walsh and the teenage girl.
Walsh, whose computer, cellphone and personal documents were seized by police, resigned from her position as an intervention specialist at the school a day later, according to the station. “Thank you for the opportunity to work for such a great education institution,” Walsh wrote in her resignation letter. A total of five witnesses spoke with investigators regarding the allegations, including a teenager, WXIX reports.
Walsh had been employed by the district since 2014, starting as a substitute educational assistant, a spokeswoman for Sycamore Community Schools told the Cincinnati Enquirer. She later worked as a full-time educational assistant before becoming a special education teacher at the high school in 2015, spokeswoman Mallory Bonbright said.
In a letter sent to parents, the district’s superintendent said that the alleged encounters did not occur on school grounds. “We find the reported allegations to be shocking, upsetting and take them very seriously,” Superintendent Frank Forsthoefel said. “We are committed to fully working with the Montgomery Police Department in their investigation and to take appropriate action to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.”
The alleged victim is not a student with disabilities, a school spokeswoman told WCPO. Walsh had been on personal leave since last month, according to the station, which noted her recent employee evaluations cited her “positive impact and clear effort to build relationships” with students.
Walsh, who was released from custody after posting bail, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati, where she also played lacrosse in 2011-14, according to the Enquirer, citing a team website.
Walsh, who could not be reached for comment, finished her collegiate lacrosse career with 282 saves, good enough for second all-time at the university.