A judge today denied a Springboro teacher facing criminal charges in a drug case also involving her son treatment in lieu of conviction during a hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Amy Panzeca, 48, of Springboro, is facing charges of permitting drug abuse, contributing to the unruliness of a minor and endangering children in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Donald Oda II denied the motion for lack of evidence that Panzeca’s alleged drinking problem contributed to her permitting drug abuse in her home.
The case stems from traffic stops last year by Springboro police and a raid last May by the Warren County Drug Task Force of the Panzeca home in the Settlers Walk community in Springboro.
In December, her son, now 16, was sentenced to 30 more days in the local detention center as part of his sentence in Warren County Juvenile Court after pleading no contest to charges of trafficking in drugs and possession of controlled substances.
He got credit for 15 days already spent in detention, but was ordered to complete an in-patient treatment program.
Panzeca is accused of converting her son’s money, including a birthday gift, to Bitcoin, which he used to buy LSD, some of which he sold to about 20 Springboro students.
In December, Oda found an oral motion by Panzeca’s lawyer “to be well-taken, in part” and ordered the long-time teacher be examined.
Her lawyer, Andrea Ostrowski, filed a motion that said: “Drug or alcohol usage by the defendant was a factor leading to the instant offense.”
Offenders granted treatment in lieu of conviction must abstain from drugs and alcohol for 12 months, take part in treatment programs and submit to random testing in order to complete the diversion program. It also can include community service and financial restitution.
If offenders complete the program, the court dismisses the original charges and can potentially seal the records related to the case.
Since August, Panzeca has been free on her own recognizance, pending trial. She had been pressing for the identity of confidential informants in the case and suppression of statements made to police.
Oda delayed all other proceedings in the case, pending outcome of todays’s hearing. A suppression hearing is to be scheduled next in the case.
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