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A 26-year-old special education teacher from Ohio was indicted Monday for allegedly having sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student on at least two occasions.
Jennifer Walsh allegedly had a sexual relationship with a student from Sycamore High School, where Walsh was teaching at the time, from May to August, according to court records obtained by WXIX. The 26-year-old was charged with two counts of sexual battery by a grand jury.
The victim in question is not a special needs student, reports The New York Post.
A report from WXIX says the alleged sexual encounters did not happen on school property.
Walsh resigned from Sycamore High School some two weeks ago, on October 19, in cooperation with Montgomery Police.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you of a situation involving a former Sycamore High School employee,” said a letter from high school administration sent home to parents.
“Montgomery Police is investigating allegations that former teacher Jennifer Walsh engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. Walsh has resigned. Investigators believe this was an isolated incident and that the alleged inappropriate behavior did not occur at school,” the letter continued.
Per privacy laws concerning students, “the District is limited in what we can speak to,” said the school, adding that they “find the reported allegations to be shocking, upsetting, and take them very seriously. We have strict policies against this type of alleged behavior that are clearly communicated to all staff.”
Sycamore High School told parents they 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.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to work for such a great education institution,” read Walsh’s letter of resignation, which was released by the school.
Walsh was first reported to authorities by an investigator from Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services agency concerning an “incident involving Walsh and the teenage girl,” reports the Post.
The teacher’s computer, cellphone, and personal documents have been confiscated by authorities.
Along with providing intervention services to students, Walsh, who played collegiate lacrosse, served as the junior varsity lacrosse coach for Sycamore High School. It’s unclear if the victim was a member of the team.
Bill Craig, a parent of a Sycamore High School senior, told WXIX that he’s “heartbroken” for both parties involved.
“Basically, just heartbroken for both of them in a lot of ways,” he said. “My heart goes out, like I said, to both of them. What’s the brokenness in that teacher that led her to go down that road with a student?”
Walsh has since posted bail and was released from police custody.