SPRINGBORO, Ohio – A former Ohio teacher is facing sex charges involving at least 28 first-grade girls.
According to WLWT, John Austin Hopkins, 25, was indicted on Monday on 36 counts of gross sexual imposition.
Prosecutors say Hopkins was a gym teacher at Clearcreek Elementary School and Springboro Intermediate.
“The 36 counts of gross sexual imposition relate to 28 different children. All of these students again were female, first graders at Clearcreek Elementary. The elements of gross sexual imposition are that on the specific dates in question and specific dates specifically identified in the indictment, Mr. Hopkins had sexual contact with a person who was under 13 years of age,” said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
The potential victims were reportedly identified through security footage beginning in December 2018 after Hopkins was accused of having contact with a first-grader.
Hopkins allegedly had female students sit on his lap so he could touch them sexually, WHIO reports.
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“They loved him as a teacher because of the amount of affection he was showing them,” Fornshell said. “What these kids didn’t realize was this was completely inappropriate and criminal.”
Authorities arrested Hopkins after one of the children's parents reported the alleged abuse.
According to WLWT, Fornshell said Hopkins would repeatedly inappropriately touch the female first-graders; one of the victims was reportedly convinced she would marry Hopkins when she got older.
Hopkins was booked into the Warren County Jail and remains in police custody.