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Stivers teacher accused of pandering obscenity questions iPad search

A Dayton police officer testified Wednesday that he only searched the iPad of a former Stivers High School drama teacher indicted on seven counts of pandering obscenity of a minor.

The attorney representing John S. Findley, 34, of Dayton, questioned officer Merwyn Rodrigues during a suppression hearing in the courtroom of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara Gorman.

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“A question was raised as to whether the search of the government was limited to the iPad or whether they searched my client’s iPhone and also went into the cloud,” defense attorney Kevin Lennen told Gorman. “We’re just going to see if there was any searching done outside the confines of the search warrant.”

Rodrigues said that he always turns off a device’s Wi-Fi and takes out any SIM card so it can’t “talk” to other devices or a network. Rodrigues testified that he was confident that the search was confined to Findley’s iPad.

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Gorman scheduled the case’s next hearing for May 16.

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The former Dayton Public Schools teacher indicted on allegations of sex offenses involving minors had been put on paid leave during the 2016-2017 school year.

Findley, of Dayton, was listed on Dayton Public Schools’ website as a teacher of drama and English at Stivers School for the Arts before charges were formalized.

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DPS officials said Findley resigned effective July 9, 2017. It was unclear Wednesday how long he had taught at Stivers, but a program from a 2014 Stivers play lists him as being with the school’s Career Technical Theatre Preparatory Program.

Court records show that Findley was indicted Aug. 29, 2017 for filming obscene images of a minor that occurred between November 2015 and August 2016.

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Dayton Public Schools has said the district “is fully cooperating with all law enforcement” in the case.

One of the four pandering obscenity counts says that Findley did “direct or produce an obscene performance that has a minor as its participants.” The indictment also accuses Findley of promoting the material for sale or dissemination on Aug. 8 or Aug. 9 of 2016.

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The three counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor include language saying Findley “created, directed or produced” the performance.

Six of the charges are second-degree felonies, according to the indictment, while one is a fourth-degree felony.

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Ohio Department of Education records show Findley held a four-year Alternative Resident Educator License that expired this summer. ODE lists his teaching field as Performing Arts, as well as a class in principles of art and communication.

ODE’s educator discipline site shows no prior professional conduct discipline records against Findley.

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