Logan County superintendent faces 14 charges in child rape case

A Logan County superintendent has been indicted on more than a dozen charges, including four counts of rape-victim under 13.

Indian Lake Schools Superintendent Patrick O’Donnell, 52, has been accused of sexually abusing a now 13-year-old girl, who isn’t a student in the district. The indictment released by Logan County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday listed 14 charges against O’Donnell — four counts of rape-victim under 13, four counts of sexual battery and six counts of gross sexual imposition.

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The superintendent’s wife, Heather O’Donnell — who is also a superintendent at Midwest Regional Educational Service Center — has also been indicted on two counts of child endangering in connection with the case, according to court records.

The girl allegedly told Heather O’Donnell about the accusations, Washington Twp. Police Chief Rick Core said, but Heather O’Donnell didn’t tell police.

“This situation has been going on for over three years,” Core said his investigation revealed.

Patrick O’Donnell’s attorney, Peter DeSomma, didn’t return a phone call Wednesday requesting comment. An attorney for Heather O’Donnell couldn’t be located and messages left for her weren’t returned.

Both O’Donnells remained inmates at the Logan County Jail on Wednesday evening.

The Indian Lake School Board has placed Patrick O’Donnell on unpaid leave and has begun the process to terminate him, according to a news release from the board.

READ MORE: Case dropped against Indian Lake superintendent, will go to grand jury

The Midwest Regional Educational Service Center declined to comment on Heather O’Donnell’s charges on Wednesday.

Former Indian Lake student Jacob McLaughlin said he was surprised to hear of the charges.

“It’s a good school with a lot of good people,” McLaughlin said.

He agrees with the school board’s decision to begin termination proceedings against O’Donnell, McLaughlin said, and if convicted, “he shouldn’t be allowed to be around children.”

It makes sense to Core that residents would be surprised by the charges, he said.

“When you’re in a position where you’re in view of the public, you’ve got a high profile job and people know who you are just by virtue of your profession,” he said, “I think that part lends some surprise to some of the people when they hear stories like this.

But for Core — “It just doesn’t surprise me anymore these days,” he said. “I’ve given up getting surprised about things like this.”

The O’Donnells are scheduled to be arraigned in Logan County Common Pleas Court on Friday.

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