John Austin Hopkins, 25, has been charged with 36 counts of gross sexual imposition against students in his care.
According to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, Hopkins was arrested by Warren County police after they were notified by a parent of one of the 28 alleged victims.
Hopkins worked at both Clearcreek Elementary and Springboro Intermediate schools in Ohio, but all 36 charges so far are based on just 90 days of security footage from Clearcreek Elementary — from December 2018 through March 2019.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told reporters:
The indictments are the culmination of a three-month investigation by the Springboro Police Department as well as our office into what was initially reported as inappropriate physical contact by Mr. Hopkins with a female, first-grade student at Clearcreek Elementary School.
“We believe there was evidence not just of inappropriate contact, but also of potential criminal conduct on the part of Mr. Hopkins,” Fornshell said. All told, there are recorded instances of physical interaction between Hopkins and 88 first-grade female students.
According to Fornshell, Hopkins was observed:
Placing many of the girls on his lap, straddling him in what I would describe as a sexual manner. With respect to some of the girls, his hands are going up their shirts, both the front side and back sides of their shirts, reaching up under the skirt, grabbing their buttocks.
And Hopkins allegedly went well beyond even these interactions, backing them up with calculated manipulation. “A lot of these little girls would compete for his attention during the class… One of the little girls, he convinced her that they were going to be married when she got older,” Fornshell explained.
Four days after being put on involuntary administrative leave, Hopkins resigned his position. As of the time of this writing, he is in custody and awaiting arraignment.