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Stacy Schuler, Ex-Ohio Teacher, Convicted Of Having Sex With 5 Students

10/27/11 11:47 PM ET  AP

LEBANON, Ohio -- A high school teacher was convicted Thursday of having sex with five students, some of them football players, after a judge rejected an insanity defense that argued the teens took advantage of her.

Stacy Schuler was sentenced to a total of four years in prison for the encounters with the Mason High School students at her home in Springboro in southwest Ohio in 2010. She can ask a judge to free her from prison after six months.

The 33-year-old Schuler, who could have faced decades in prison, cried as she was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.

The five teens testified that Schuler, a health and gym teacher, had been drinking alcohol at the time of the encounters and was a willing participant who initiated much of the contact. The teens were about 17 at the time. The age of consent in Ohio is 16, but it's illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student.

"This is a noble profession that you have, and I've heard a lot of good things about you, but I know that you had the opportunity, as all teachers do, to affect the lives of our children," Warren County Common Pleas Judge Robert Peeler said. "You crossed a line."

Schuler's lawyers argued that she had medical and psychological issues and couldn't remember the encounters.

Before sentencing Schuler on 16 counts of sexual battery and three counts of providing alcohol to a minor, the judge said it would be a "magnificent leap" to believe she didn't know her actions were wrong.

Schuler didn't testify during the four-day nonjury trial, and she and her attorneys declined to address the judge before he sentenced her.

But parents of two of the teen victims made tearful statements.

A father spoke of his son's depression and lost motivation and said the teen almost didn't go to college. He asked the judge to hand down a sentence to send a message that Schuler's acts are not acceptable and there are serious consequences.

"It impacts the teaching community as a whole, how a single teacher who made the wrong decision multiple times overshadows 99.9 percent of the teachers that truly do care, not pretend to care, about their students," he said.

A mother said her son turned to and trusted Schuler during an extremely low period when his father had cancer and related health problems.

"These young men may appear as if they are tough guys, but in reality, they are truly hurting," she said.

"She took advantage of their vulnerability. She crossed the line and it is unacceptable."

Assistant prosecutor Teresa Hiett further pointed out to the judge how the teens have been affected, noting that Mason High School was shut down for the week of the trial because "everyone's been trying to figure out who these five boys were."

Testimony from a defense psychologist had suggested that Schuler's medical and physical ailments, combined with her vegan diet and use of alcohol and an antidepressant, helped impair her ability to tell right from wrong.

A psychologist for the prosecution rebutted that testimony, saying that the use of alcohol does not meet the state standard for an insanity defense and that willingly getting drunk is not a legal defense for a crime.

Two former Mason students had testified that Schuler had devised a plan to enter an insanity plea before she was ever charged. Other students testified on Schuler's behalf, hugging her in the courtroom and telling the judge she was a supportive advocate who kept appropriate boundaries.

Schuler had been a teacher and athletic trainer at the school north of Cincinnati since 2000 before resigning in February after an anonymous tip to the school led to the charges against her.

The slideshow below shows more student-teacher sex scandals:
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  • Ashley Nicole Anderson

    In October, 2012, Anderson was accused of having <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221031/Maths-teacher-sex-students-sent-naked-photos-performed-oral-sex-others.html" target="_hplink">sex with four of her students</a> and performing oral sex on three others.

  • Courtney Speer

    Speer was accused in October, 2012 of having sex with one of her 17-year-old students on multiple occasions <a href="http://www.katv.com/story/19726366/bryant-teacher-bonds-out-of-jail-charged-with-sexual-assault" target="_hplink">in the school's parking lot</a> in Bryant, Ark.

  • laurie lee kelly

    An Arizona teacher's assistant accused of leaving her 6-year-old child with strangers so she could have sex with two men said she was driven by a "manic sexual rage," according to court documents.

  • Kelly McKenzy Watson

    This special education teacher in California was arrested in August, 2012, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old former student. She was arrested and charged with sex crimes, but as of Aug. 14, was on paid administrative leave at the high school she worked.

  • Bethany Appleton

    Shelbyville, Indianapolis middle school teacher Bethany Appleton, 28, is accused of having sexual relationships with several underage students and providing them with marijuana and alcohol.

  • Megan Crafton

    Megan Crafton

  • Irene Khan

    In June, 2012, Khan was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student on multiple occasions including in her car and home and at various hotels.

  • Nicole Jacques

    In late March, 2012, Nicole Jacques allegedly had sex with her 15-year-old student several times in her apartment. None of the alleged abuse happened at Calvary Baptist School in Pennsylvania where she worked.

  • Stephanie Cobb

    Cobb was arrested in March, 2012 for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student. She also allegedly exchanged 12,000 texts with the boy over the course of four months

  • Stefanie Dickinson

    Colorado school board member Stefanie Dickinson was charged with Internet luring of a child in September after she was caught sexting a 14-year-old boy. The boy reportedly told police he became uncomfortable after she would show up at his football games and tell him how sexy his smile was. She was arrested in October for sexual assault on another minor, also a student. Photo courtesy of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

  • George Hernandez

    As a substitute teacher in L.A.'s second-largest school district, George Hernandez was investigated three times for sexual misconduct with students. Hernandez fled to Mexico when officially charged when police found video evidence of him molesting a second-grade girl. He remains at large and wanted by the Huntington Park Police Department.

  • Lauren Redfern

    Colorado high school physical education teacher and basketball coach Lauren Redfern was charged with sexual assault on a child by a person of a position of trust with a pattern of sexual abuse after suspicions arose that she was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student over the course of 4 months. Though initial interviews with the victim indicate that their relationship was consensual, it will not deter the Sheriff's Office from pressing charges against Redfern. Photo courtesy of the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.

  • Heather Whitten Whitten, a 38-year-old teacher at Williams Intermediate School in Alabama, was arrested in February 2012 for allegedly raping a male student between the ages of 12 and 16. Cops said that the crime did not occur on school grounds.

  • Andrea Ebert, a 30-year-old special education teacher at Rice Lake Middle School in Wisconsin, was jailed in February 2012 after she allegedly had sex with two 17-year-old students. None of several encounters between her and the students were reported to be on campus.

  • Mark Berndt

    This undated police booking photo released by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department shows former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 61, who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids after photos surfaced. Berndt been charged with committing lewd acts with 23 boys and girls ages 7 to 10. Berndt pleaded not guilty on Feb. 21. AP Photo/ Los Angeles Sheriff's Department)

  • Jennifer Schultz

    North Dakota school teacher Jennifer Schultz is charged with sexually assaulting two of her students after a group of students arrived at her home and asked if she would like to drink vodka with them. Authorities say that after a few drinks, two of the boys went up to Schultz's room, where the teacher allegedly had sex with one boy while the other watched.

  • Kelly K. Miller

    Kelly K. Miller, 32, a science teacher in the Chicago suburbs, was charged with sexual exploitation of a child on Sept. 27 after allegedly sending explicit photos of herself to a 15-year-old student. Photo courtesy of the Aurora Police Department.

  • Pamela Joan Rogers Turner Mugshot

    This April 26, 2006 booking mug shot shows Pamela Rogers Turner after her arrest. Turner, now 34, a former teacher who served time in jail for having sex with a 13-year-old boy, is currently serving a prison sentence for sending inappropriate photos and videos of herself to that same boy after she served out her original sentence. (AP Photo/Warren County Sheriff, HO)

  • Pamela Joan Turner (Pamela Rogers) In Court

    This July 14, 2006 photo shows Pamela Joan Turner, right, being escorted into circuit court in McMinnville, Tenn. The Tennessee Supreme Court said that it will not hear the appeal. Turner was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old student at the Warren County school where she taught and then again convicted of sending that same student inappropriate photos and videos of herself. (AP Photo/Mark Humhrey)

  • Debra Lafave Pleads Guilty

    Former middle school teacher Debra Lafave is shown in this file photo as she looks at a reporter after pleading guilty on Nov. 22, 2005 to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Lafave, now 31, whose sexual liaisons with a 14-year-old middle school student made tabloid headlines, avoided prison as part of a plea agreement. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara/FILE)

  • Debra Lafave Mugshot

    This booking photo shows Debra Lafave, who was arrested Tuesday Dec. 4, 2007 for violating the terms of her probation. Lafave was originally arrested on June 21, 2004 and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a person under 16 years old. (AP Photo/Hillsborough County Jail)

  • Amber Jennings

    Shepherd Hill Regional High School teacher Amber S. Jennings is arraigned in Worcester Superior Court in this file photo taken Feb. 24, 2005, in Worcester, Mass. Jennings pleaded guilty to "disseminating harmful materials to a minor." She was sentenced to two years' probation. A spokesman for Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte said the allegations involved a 16-year-old student. (AP Photo/ Pool)

  • Carrie McCandless

    Carrie McCandless is taken into custody after her sentencing hearing at Larimer County Justice Center for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student at Brighton Charter High School, where she was a teacher, Friday, June 8, 2007, in Fort Collins, Colorado. McCandless was sentenced to 45 days in jail, five years on probation and a four-year deferred sentence. McCandless was arrested in May of 2011 for a parole violation after she tested positive for morphine. She served a 60-day sentence for the violation. (AP Photo/Sherri Barber, Pool)

  • Carrie McCandless

    Carrie McCandless listens during her sentencing hearing at Larimer County Justice Center for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student at Brighton Charter High School, where she was a teacher, Friday, June 8, 2007, in Fort Collins, Colorado. McCandless was taken to custody by a Larimer County sheriff's deputy after being sentenced to 45 days in jail, five years on probation and a four-year deferred sentence. In May of 2011, McCandless was sentenced to 60 days in jail for a parole violation after she tested positive for morphine. (AP Photo/Sherri Barber, Pool)

  • Carrie McCandless

    Undated booking photo of Carrie McCandless from the Jefferson County Jail.

  • Mary Kay Letourneau Mugshot

    Mary Kay Letourneau is shown in this undated photo taken in conjunction with her required registration at the King County courthouse in Washington as a level-two sex offender following her Aug. 4, 2004, release from prison. Letourneau completed a 7 1/2-year term for child rape in connection with a relationship she had with her former sixth-grade pupil Vili Fualaau, with whom she had two children. (AP Photo/Coutesy Washington State Sex Offender Information Center)

  • Mary Kay Letourneau Listens To Testimony

    In this Feb. 6, 1998 file photo, Mary Kay LeTourneau listens to testimony during her court hearing Friday. Letourneau and her former sixth-grade student, the father of her two youngest children, are hosting a "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle nightclub. (AP Photo/Alan Berner, Pool)

  • Vil Fualaau, Father 2 Daughters With 6th Grade Teacher Mary Kay Letourneau

    Vili Fualaau testified Wednesday, April 3, 2002, in his and his mother's civil lawsuit against the City of Des Moines and the Highline School District at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, Wash. Fualaau, then 18, and his mother, Soona Vili, are seeking $1 million from the city claiming police and school officials should have kept Fualaau from having sex with his teacher Mary Kay Letourneau. (AP Photo/Matt Brashears, Pool)

  • Wendie A. Schweikert Mugshot

    This Feb. 24, 2006 booking photo shows Wendie A. Schweikert, 36, of Belton, South Carolina. Schweikert, an elementary school teacher, was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, Laurens police said. The former fifth-grade teacher accused of having sex with her 11-year-old student was ordered held on $100,000 (84,060) bond. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007. (AP Photo/Laurens, S.C Police Dept, File)

  • Tara Driscoll Mugshot

    In this Aug. 5, 2011 photo released by the Nassau County Police Department in Garden City, N.Y., New York City English teacher Tara Driscoll is shown. Driscoll, 33, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student who attended the high school where she worked. She was sentenced to six years probation. (AP Photo/Nassau County Police Department)

  • Rachel L. Holt Mugshot

    Rachel L. Holt, a science teacher at Claymont Elementary School, was arrested early Tuesday, April 4, 2006. The sixth-grade science teacher was accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student and was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday March 16, 2007. Prosecutors had wanted Scott to sentence Holt to the maximum of 25 years. (AP Photo/New Castle County Police Department)

  • Holly Hatcher

    This undated photo shows Holly Hatcher, a Gallatin High School teacher charged with statutory rape after being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old male student at her home in Nashville. (AP Photo/Nashville Police Department)

  • Angela Renee Comer

    Angela Renee Comer, 28, talks to reporters in Tompkinsville, Ky., Wednesday, May 9, 2007, after a hearing where she reached a plea agreement. Comer was sentenced to five years in prison for one count of sodomy and five additional years for one count of custodial interference. The former teacher was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student and running off to Mexico with him in January 2006. (AP Photo/Jim Roshan)

  • Brittni Colleps

    This Monday, May 16, 2011 photo shows Brittni Nicole Colleps, a teacher who has charged with having sex with five high school students at her home in Arlington, Texas. Colleps, 27, was jailed on $125,000 bond after turning herself in Monday morning, then posted bond in the afternoon for her release. She faces 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Arlington Police Department)

  • Stacy Schuler

    This video shows Stacy Schuler, 33, an ex-Ohio teacher convicted on Oct. 27 of having sex with five students. The teens testified their teacher had been drinking alcohol and initiated much of the contact during the encounters, which took place at Schuler's home. After a judge rejected an insanity defense that argued the teens took advantage of her, Schuler was sentenced to a total of four years in prison.

  • Erica Depalo

    A former "Teacher of the Year" was arrested for allegedly having sex with one of her 15-year-old honors English students

  • Sarah Jones, Cheryl Jones

    In a Monday, July 30, 2012 file photo, Sarah Jones, left, former Dixie Heights High School teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader, and her mother, Cheryl Jones leave Kenton Circuit Court in Covington, Ky., after a motion hearing on charges against Jones of first degree sexual abuse for allegedly having sexual contact with a 17-year-old student when she was a teacher. Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia M. Summe on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 denied a request that text messages be thrown out in the case against Jones. She is facing a sex abuse charge. The trial is set to being on Oct. 10. Cheryl Jones is charged with tampering with evidence in the case. (AP Photo/The Enquirer, Patrick Reddy) NO SALES. MANDATORY CREDIT

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