Sex charges filed against former Springboro teacher

Bond set at $500,000 for ex-Springboro teacher accused of sex charges

An attorney for a former physical education teacher accused of gross sexual imposition involving first-grade girls said his client has done nothing wrong.

John Austin Hopkins was arraigned on 36 counts of GSI today, with his attorney entering a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

RELATED: Former Springboro teacher’s references included superintendent, principal

“He totally denies this,” said David Chicarelli.

However, prosecutors said that Hopkins sexually abused more than two dozen young girls and that there is video to prove it.

“There is no question what is happening in those videos,” Angela Wallace, an attorney for some of the alleged victims, said.

Chicarelli said he doesn’t know what’s on the video, but that Hopkins is presumed innocent.

“These videos that they say they have I assume are from a camera up in the ceiling and I don’t know how clear they are,” he said.

Wallace painted a clear picture on this case came to be.

“The parents asked how that child’s day was and she said, ‘It was a great day today. It was finally my turn to sit on Mr. Hopkins lap,’” she said.

UPDATE @ 2:15 p.m.:

The former Springboro teacher facing 36 charges of gross sexual imposition involving girls in his first-grade class was arraigned and bond was set at $500,000 today in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

 
One Springboro family is trying to cope after they say a former Springboro PE teacher John Austin Hopkins sexually abused their 7-year-old daughter.

John Austin Hopkins, 25, of Springboro, was indicted on 36 counts of gross sexual imposition involving more than two dozen girls younger than 13 years old in his class at Clearcreek Elementary School in Springboro.

RELATED: Ex-Springboro teacher faces dozens of child sex charges

The charges stem from a grand jury review of Hopkins’ “sufficiently questionable” touching of 88 girls in more than 100 incidents and was triggered by a complaint to school officials in March, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

On Monday, Fornshell said his office realized “this was going to be bigger than anything we’ve ever handled, in terms of potential victims.”

Also Thursday, Ed Perry, the defense lawyer appointed on the case, was replaced by David Anthony Chicarelli, son of a long-time local lawyer, David Allen Chicarelli, with whom he now shares an office in Franklin.

In their filings, the Chicarellis indicated Perry withdrew due to a conflict of interest in his law firm, Rittgers & Rittgers.

INITIAL REPORT:

The arraignment of John Austin Hopkins, the former Springboro teacher indicted Monday on charges accusing him of gross sexual imposition of 28 female first-grade students will take place today.

Hopkins, 25, of Springboro is scheduled for arraignment by Judge Robert Peeler at 2 p.m. 

RELATED: Parents press for school-district changes as ex-Springboro teacher indicted on dozens of gross sexual imposition charges

Hopkins was scheduled for arraignment on July 5 by Magistrate Andrew Hasselbach with some of the other people named in a list of indictments released Monday by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Tuesday, the hearing, in which Hopkins’ bail is likely to be set, was rescheduled for  today and assigned to Peeler, the judge in the case. Hopkins is represented by Ed Perry, a lawyer in the Rittgers & Rittgers firm.

Also, Kevin Hardman, a former Hamilton County prosecutor, was assigned as main prosecutor in the case. Assistant County Prosecutor Julie Kraft is also assigned to the case.

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