breaking news

MedFlight transports one from motorcycle crash in Springfield

Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges

Alleged victim was 10 years old, police say.


The Indian Lake Local Schools Superintendent has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing a then 10-year-old girl.

Patrick O’Donnell, 52, who has been the Indian Lake superintendent for about seven years, was arrested Monday by Washington Twp. police and charged with gross sexual imposition. Washington Twp. Police Chief Rick Core said O’Donnell faces the charge for an alleged incident that occurred three years ago.

DETAILS: Shawnee, Tecumseh change drug polices after newspaper investigation

“At this point we are only talking about one victim,” Core said. “I don’t believe that there were any problems at the school. This would all have been done outside of school.”

Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart also said the accusations didn’t involve any students in the district O’Donnell oversees.

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.

School Board President Gabe Wickline read the statement for media after the meeting but didn’t take any questions. The board appointed Indian Lake High School Principal Robert Underwood as interim superintendent.

READ MORE: Ex-Tecumseh superintendent: ‘Getting caught saved my life’

Details surrounding the incident weren’t released Monday and Core declined to comment on the relationship between the suspect and the now-13-year-old girl. O’Donnell was booked into the Logan County Jail about 1:30 p.m. Monday, records show.

“The investigation is still in the progression phase,” Core said. “At this time there is still a lot of information that we need to obtain.”

Stewart, the Logan County prosecutor, said his office is exploring how they plan to charge O’Donnell. O’Donnell is expected to appear in court on Tuesday morning.

Authorities began investigating O’Donnell last Monday, Core said.

“What initially started the investigation was the victim’s parent contacted the Logan County Children Services and they by procedure contacted law enforcement,” he said.

It’s not unusual for a victim to take a while before reporting being abused, Core said.

“Everyone is different and everybody does things on their own timeline and I think that is the situation here,” he said.

The Washington Twp. Police Department works closely with the school, Core said, but believed they should investigate the allegations. Indian Lake has a little more than 1,560 students who attend the district and the Washington Twp. Police Department provides security at the school and during sporting events.

Washington Twp. is small and quiet, he said, with only about 3,900 people living here.

“Everybody knows everybody and of course something of this nature will spread throughout the community pretty quickly,” Core said.

He said his law enforcement experience has trained him to expect anything on the job.

“After 28 years in this business I can honestly say I am not surprised by anything anymore,” Core said.

5 NEWS-SUN CRIME READS

Drug, overdose epidemic never-ending battle for Springfield police

State patrol to set up OVI checkpoints in Clark County

Mother, son arrested in connection with Springfield shooting

Urbana Police investigating yearlong spike in thefts

Chief: Suspect arrested in Urbana shooting, weapon recovered



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Shooting survivor forced to sell business after robbery, family says
Shooting survivor forced to sell business after robbery, family says

Vipin Sharma visited his Arlington Expressway BP service station on Friday for the first time since he was shot in an armed robbery in July.  “Awesome," Sharma said. "I never thought I would be able to make it.” He told Action News Jax the bullet is lodged in his pelvis and he has a blood clot in his leg. >> Read...
Mother furious after son, 5, found walking home from school alone
Mother furious after son, 5, found walking home from school alone

An Orange County woman said she is upset after her 5-year-old son was sent walking home by himself on the third day of school. >> Read more trending news  Sara Tavares said her son, Joey Hoffman, wandered for about 45 minutes Wednesday before a school resource officer found him a mile away. "I'm furious," she said. "I mean...
MedFlight transports one from motorcycle crash in Springfield
MedFlight transports one from motorcycle crash in Springfield

UPDATE @ 8:11 p.m.: The male motorcycle driver was transported via MedFlight to a local hospital, police say. He sustained non-life threatening injuries. Reports say passengers in the other vehicle are uninjured. INITIAL STORY: MedFlight is reportedly on standby for a man who crashed his motorcycle in a two-vehicle crash in Springfield Saturday evening...
Florida woman arrested after stealing donations for slain girl, police say
Florida woman arrested after stealing donations for slain girl, police say

A woman accused of stealing a donation jar with at least $600 meant for the family of a young girl killed earlier this week has been arrested, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Heydi Rivas-Villanueva was shot while sitting in a car, caught in the crossfire of a shooting, investigators said. She died at Wolfson Children's...
Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, to hang up skis in Florida
Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, to hang up skis in Florida

One of the animal world’s most recognized stars is hanging up her skis in her hometown of Orlando this weekend.  >> Read more trending news  Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, is giving her final performances at the Orlando Boat Show at the Orange County Convention Center.  For years, Twiggy has entertained fans around the...
More Stories