An Ohio school teacher accused of having sex with 5 students says she was taken advantage of by predatory teenagers.
Stacy Schuler, who initially pleaded not guilty to the accusations, backtracked Monday and said she was “not guilty by reason of insanity.”
Her attorneys explained the surprising turn of events on Wednesday.
“Stacy Schuler’s defense, from a legal standpoint, is based upon her inability to protect herself from the young men involved in this case,” her lawyers, Charlie H. Rittgers and Charlie M. Rittgers, said.
The lawyers said Schuler was “impaired” at the time, and those students took advantage of her condition. The attorneys did not explain the impairment.
Warren County prosecutors were surprised by the plea change.
“For a period of six months what we’ve heard are outright denials that these events ever happened,” prosecutor David Fornshell said.
Schuler, 32, resigned in February as a gym teacher at Mason High School after an anonymous tip a month earlier triggered an investigation into her relationship with several students.
The alleged incidents involved several high school football players. They are believed to have taken place between August and December 2010.
Prosecutors hit Schuler with a total of 19 charges: 16 counts of sexual battery and three misdemeanor counts involving providing alcohol to minors.
Schuler is set to go on trial in August. She is presently free on bond and is under house arrest at her parents’ home.
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