A judge set a $100,000 bond Tuesday for the Indian Lake Local Schools superintendent who’s accused of sexually abusing a 1o-year-old girl.
Patrick O’Donnell, 52, appeared in Bellefontaine Municipal Court on Tuesday for an arraignment on a gross sexual imposition charge.
O’Donnell was arrested Monday afternoon and is accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl three years ago. Washington Twp. Police Chief Rick Core said investigators are looking into whether it was a single incident or if the alleged abuse happened over a period of three years.
PREVIOUS REPORTING: Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges
Hardin County Judge James Rapp set O’Donnell’s bond after listening to prosecutors and defense attorney Peter Desomma. O’Donnell appeared in court on video from the Logan County Jail. Rapp ordered O’Donnell to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Desomma didn’t return phone calls seeking comment on Tuesday. O’Donnell bonded out of jail Tuesday afternoon, according to the Logan County Jail.
In court, prosecutors described the allegations as “very serious.” A preliminary hearing date was set for June 26 and prosecutors said they will present the case to a grand jury on July 11.
O’Donnell has been the Indian Lake superintendent for seven years. Authorities say the incident didn’t involve a student at the district.
Core said his office is continuing to investigate the case.
“We are interviewing some other people that are further out and working on completing the investigation,” he said.
Few details about the allegations have been released. Core said a police report and affidavit might be finished soon, but he is still waiting on reports from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, which is assisting in the investigation.
“They are moving quickly for this case,” he said. “It normally takes them longer to investigate.”
Core said he began investigating the case last week after relatives of the alleged victim contacted Logan County Children Services, which then contacted his department.
Indian Lake community members expressed sadness and anger over the allegations.
Resident Jim Inglis said a lot of people are going to be hurt because of this situation. He said however if the suspect is guilty, he should be punished.
“The judge has to be tough on a situation like that so that other people will think, ‘I’d better not do that,’” he said.
The Indian Lake Board of Education voted Monday to put O’Donnell on paid administrative leave. It included a directive that he stay at his home during regular work hours and that he stay off school property.
“Due to the short notice, the board has not yet had time to provide the due process required by law to place the superintendent on unpaid leave,” a statement from the school board read.
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