A former Logan County school superintendent has requested twice this year that a court release him early from prison, both times getting denied.
Patrick O’Donnell formerly served as Indian Valley Local School superintendent and accepted a plea deal in a case that accused him of child sexual misconduct. O’Donnell pleaded guilty to a charge of gross sexual imposition. That plea agreement prompted Logan County Common Pleas Judge William Goslee to sentence O’Donnell to prison for 4½ years.
However, over the last year, O’Donnell has asked to be let out of prison early.
“Patrick O’Donnell is a hardworking, 54-year-old man who understands the devastating consequences of his actions and accepts full responsibility for them,” the most recent court motion filed Sept. 9 says.
The motion says O’Donnell was a law-abiding citizen that had no contact with law enforcement prior to his arrest.
“He lives with the ramifications of his actions and one can see how this has changed every aspect of his life,” the motion says.
O’Donnell wishes the child victim could forgive him for his actions, the motion says, but understands why the victim might never be able to.
During sentencing, last year, the now-teenaged victim — who wasn’t a student at Indian Lake school — spoke about the assaults and how she was afraid to speak up. The abuse began when she was 9, she said in court, and continued until she was 13.
The victim told the Springfield News-Sun after the sentencing that she was relieved O’Donnell had been sentenced to prison. She also urged other victims to speak up about their abuse.
Before the most recent filing, O’Donnel had asked to be released early from prison in April. The judge denied that request.
The state has remained steadfast in its objection to the early release.
“The state is opposed to the motion as granting it would demean the seriousness of the offense,” the response filed on Sept. 11 says. “The defendant sexually abused a child…”
“The victim in this case and her immediate family members are also opposed to judicial release,” the response says. “They feel that he has already been granted some leniency by resolving the case with a plea to gross sexual imposition rather than rape and he should therefore not be given any additional leniency. Their wish … is that he serve the entire prison term.”
Sitting judge David Faulkner rejected the early release request on Sept. 11, court records show.
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