LEBANON, Ohio (FOX19) - The former Springboro physical education teacher facing 36 counts of gross sexual imposition is out of the Warren County jail on bond, the Warren County Clerk of Courts says.
John Austin Hopkins, 25, of Springboro, was captured on surveillance video between December 2018 and March 2019 having inappropriate physical contact with 88 first grade girls in the Clearcreek Elementary School gymnasium, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell says.
Thursday, a judge set Hopkins’ bond at $500,000.
To be released, Hopkins had to post 10 percent of his bond, which is $50,000. The clerk of courts office said Hopkins posted bond at 8:45 a.m. Now that he is out of jail, he is restricted to his home where he is not to have any contact with minors, per the judge’s ruling.
The judge also ruled that Hopkins’ attorneys must prepare for trial in his home.
The judge said he took the safety of the community, which was his main concern, into account before making his decision.
Fornshell announced the charges against Hopkins Monday before holding a press conference.
At the time of the incidents, Fornshell said Hopkins was employed by the Springboro Community City Schools as a physical education teacher at Clearcreek Elementary and Springboro Intermediate. Though he is accused of touching 88 of the first graders inappropriately, a grand jury only returned an indictment for 28 of the students, leading to the 36-count indictment. The prosecutor did not elaborate on the reason the grand jury only returned indictments for 28 of the 88 students, but said it may have been due to the way each of the girls was touched.
He says it was up to the grand jury to determine what was inappropriate contact and what was criminal contact.
Hopkins taught first and sixth grade at both Clearcreek Elementary and Springboro Intermediate over the past school year. Before that, he was a substitute teacher in the school district.
Fornshell says that though both boys and girls were present in the gym at the time the sexual contact happened, Hopkins only touched the girls.
He was put on administrative leave in March when the school district began investigating allegations of possible misconduct, school officials said at the time.
He quit just days later.
Springboro community members expressed concern at Hopkins’ release and Springboro Schools released the following statement:
Springboro Schools realizes the expectations from our community to ensure the safety of every student in our district is met. Student safety in all district buildings, including Clearcreek Elementary, continue to be a top priority, as is the well-being of our parents, staff, and community members. Safety improvements and staff expectations are continually discussed and evaluated, throughout a given school year. These discussions take place among our administration, as well as the district's safety committee.
In a continuing effort to communicate with the district’s families, Springboro Schools encourages anyone with questions or concerns to contact our district’s Mental Health Services Department. In addition, Springboro Schools has collaborated with the Child Advocacy Center of Warren County (CAC) on numerous resources, guidelines, and support groups for those families involved in the allegations against Mr. Hopkins.