Tipp City substitute teacher pleads not guilty in pornography case

He is accused of having a sexually explicit photo on his personal iPad that was seen by a student.

TROY — A former substitute teacher in the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile for allegedly having a sexually explicit photo on his personal iPad that was seen by a student.

The 72-year-old Tipp City man appeared in Miami County Municipal Court for arraignment on the charge before Magistrate James Utrecht.

The man initially said he wanted to plead guilty, saying, “It was an accident.” He reviewed paperwork after being informed by Utrecht that, if convicted, he could face up to six months in jail. He then pleaded not guilty.

The man was released on his own recognizance and a pretrial hearing was scheduled March 7 in Judge Gary Nasal’s court.

A Tipp City police report said a Tippecanoe High School student was talking with the substitute working in the media center about history topics and flipping through photos on the substitute’s iPad on Feb. 8.

The teacher told police he stepped away from the iPad briefly, during which time the student continued to look at photos and came upon the inappropriate photo, according to the police report.

The student’s report was slightly different, saying she saw the photo while the substitute was scrolling through photos and discussing family history. The student said she mentioned to the teacher, who appeared not to notice, that the explicit photo should be removed from the iPad. The student told police she believed it was an accident.

A review of the man’s personnel file with the Tipp City schools showed the district notified him that he would no longer be allowed to serve as a substitute in the district and that an educator misconduct form was being filed with the Ohio Department of Education that would “be flagged for other schools to know of the incident.”

The school district, through Superintendent Aaron Moran, has declined comment on the allegation.

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