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Update: Hot to Trot Teach Found Guilty in Sex Trial; Whack-o Defense Didn’t Work

Cincinnati – from www.local12.com – A Warren County judge says a former Mason high school teacher is guilty of having sex with students. Stacy Schuler was found guilty today on all 16 counts of felony sexual battery for having sex with some former Mason football players. She was also accused of giving them alcohol.

The judge heard closing arguments and then took about 45 minutes making his decision.

In delivering his verdict, the judge told Schuler he could not accept her attorney’s assertion that she was made temporarily insane by a mixture of alcohol, drugs, and mental disorders.

The judge told Schuler, “I cannot make the magnificent leap to the proposition that at the time of the offense, you did not know the wrongfulness of your acts…. I heard the evidence… I do not believe that any reasonable person who listened to the evidence could reach that conclusion.”

He went on to say, “I believe you are talented teacher. I also know it was your responsibility to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries.”

After announcing his verdict of guilty on all counts, the judge asked if either side had any objections to moving forward with sentencing. The prosecution asked for a delay so that witnesses who wished to make a statement to the judge could be present in court. The defense said they had no objection. The judge then said that the witnesses knew the trial would be ending today, and decided to proceed with sentencing.

A mother of a victim came forward and tearfully talked about the impact of the sexual abuse on her son and his friends, saying, “They may appear to be tough guys but really they are truly hurting. She crossed the line. These events have changed him greatly… He lost faith in God, no longer sees the good in people.” The father of another victim also spoke, as did the prosecutor and the defense attorney. Schuler herself decided not to make a statement.

Before sentencing, the judge said to Schuler, “This is a noble profession… you have the opportunity to affect the lives of our children. You clearly have some mental health issues that I am considering but you crossed the line.” He then sentenced Schuler to four years in prison. She is eligible for parole in 6 months. She will also be labeled a Tier Three sexual offender, which means she has to register her address every 90 days for the rest of her life.

Coverage of trial from Wednesday, October 26, 2011:

The defense began presenting its testimony today-they had nearly a dozen character witnesses lined up, including former students and teaching peers. The teachers testified that Schuler was a dedicated professional, devoted to her students and her subject. They said she sometimes had a hard time setting boundaries because she was too nice.

Six former students also testified, saying that Schuler was their mentor, confidant, and in some cases, a second mother who helped them through all kinds of personal problems. They said they could not believe the teacher they knew and loved is now accused of sex crimes. The students did admit, under cross examination, that they were not present in Schuler’s house at the time of the alleged sex acts and cannot speak to the events of the night in question.

Coverage from Tuesday, October 25, 2011:

The prosecution rests its case in the trial of a former Mason High School teacher accused of having sex with five football players. Among the last witnessed on the stand today- a former teacher’s aide and friend who testified Stacy Schuler had her insanity defense planned out before her arrest.

Schuler sat quietly through the second day of her trial. The 33 year old says she is not guilty by reason of insanity on 16 felony counts of sexual battery and three counts of offenses involving underage persons. She is accused of having sex with and buying or providing beer for five Mason students, most of whom were football players.

Today, a girl who was Schuler’s teachers aide for three years took the stand. The former student says she and Schuler became close friends during their time in the classroom. The girl says when she came back from freshman year of college, Schuler told her something had happened with students and she was afraid she was losing her job. The girl says she interpreted that to mean that something had happened which was sexual. “She told me that if anyone ever found out she already had her defense planned out and that she’d try to say that she was insane.”

The girl admitted to withholding the conversation during the original investigation into Schuler’s alleged actions back in January but later came forward because “I don’t think she should go freely for what she did. I think she deserves punishment.”

This morning, two young men testify about their alleged sexual encounters. The men described how Schuler would greet them warmly at her home, flirt with them, and give them massages with oil before inviting them to join her in the bathtub or shower. One student says he didn’t feel right about the overtures, and so he left the bedroom to watch “Finding Nemo” in the living room while Schuler allegedly had sex with at least one other teen.

During cross examination, Schuler’s defense attorneys tried to get alleged victims to say she was drunk beyond the point of consent. But both insisted she was coherent during their encounters.

The prosecution rested this afternoon. The defense will call its first witness to the stand on Wednesday morning. Local 12 will be in the courtroom and have updates all day on Local12.com.

Trial coverage from Monday, October 24th, 2011:

During opening statements, the defense told the judges that even if the state is able to prove that Schuler performed these alleged sex acts, she was not guilty by reason of insanity because of previous mental condition.

Two of Schuler’s alleged victims took the stand today. They both told the judges Schuler flirted with them, gave them alcohol and marijuana, massages, and then seduced them.

Testimony ended abruptly this afternoon after prosecutors raised some concerns about the media and the protection of the identities of the teens on the stand.

Schuler is free on bond has been wearing a GPS monitoring device while living with her parents in Centerville. Last week, a judge also granted her request to remove the device, while ordering her to remain on house arrest.

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