Former Springboro teacher accused of sex crimes against children appears in court

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John Austin Hopkins

SPRINGBORO, Ohio (WDTN) — The former Springboro teacher accused of sexual contact with dozens of children appeared in court Tuesday.

John Austin Hopkins faces 36 counts of gross sexual imposition.

WLWT reports prosecutors have accused Hopkins of inappropriately touching 28 first-grade girls a total of 36 times while he was a gym teacher at Clearcreek Elementary School.

Dozens of parents packed the courtroom in Warren County for Hopkins’ appearance.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Hopkins’ attorneys raised concerns about videos of interviews investigators did with the children.

“We wanted the prosecution to provide to us the evidence of the interviews with the children that way we can review it, we have the ability to have an expert review it, and there was some push back on it, but eventually, they decided to give those over to us,” said defense attorney David Chicarelli.

Judge Robert Peeler sided with the defense in another motion, ruling prosecutors should provide enhanced surveillance videos of the alleged crimes along with specific time stamps.

Prosecutors said school security cameras captured Hopkins placing girls on his lap in a sexual manner and sliding his hands up their shirts.

“I can say that the images are grainy. It’s dark. You can’t entirely make out everything, and from my review, I can’t see any alleged criminal conduct,” Chicarelli said.

Hopkins has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is on house arrest awaiting trial.

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