A former culinary arts instructor was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with one of his students on school grounds.
Scott Rohrer, 28, of 3021 Eastham St., pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery in June.
Administrators from the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center filed a complaint with Springfield police in April after a custodian reported witnessing Rohrer exit a unisex bathroom on school grounds with a female student. School officials questioned the student, a 17-year-old girl, who admitted she’d had sex with Rohrer on several occasions on school grounds.
Prior to sentencing in Clark County Common Pleas Court, Rohrer told Judge Douglas Rastatter he’d violated the trust given to teachers.
“I hurt so many people that I loved and cared for, and it’s just too many people,” he said.
The victim, who is now attending college out-of-state, submitted a letter to Rastatter that was read aloud by victim advocate Robyn Smith. In it, she said Rohrer told her that having sex with him would get her “ready for college” and that the relationship subjected her to ridicule during her final days in high school.
“He took advantage of the situation. He knew that I was vulnerable and that we shared a close friendship. He initiated it, knowing that I would say ‘yes’ because I’m young and ignorant,” the letter said.
In addition to prison time, Rohrer must also register as a Tier 2 sex offender for the next 25 years. Rohrer faced a maximum of 10 years in prison. Richard Mayhall, Rohrer’s defense attorney, asked for community control since this was his client’s first criminal offense. However, he said he understood the sentence handed down.
“The fact is, teachers can’t have sex with their students, period. No exception,” Mayhall said.
Rohrer lost his job at the CTC, Mayhall said, but was attending counseling after his arrest. He added that Rohrer’s wife, with whom he has two children, will stay by his side. She did not attend the sentencing.
While Rohrer was emotional during the sentencing and could be seen holding back tears, Brian Driscoll, Clark County assistant prosecutor, said the defendant never showed remorse for his actions until he learned his fate.
“Prior to that, when confronted by this young lady, he didn’t show those same emotions, only concern for himself,” Driscoll said.