Former Wooster City Schools music teacher accused of having sex with a student, faces 2 counts of sexual battery

Former Wooster City Schools music teacher accused of having sex with a student, faces 2 counts of sexual battery

WOOSTER, Ohio (WOIO) - A Wooster High School choir teacher has been indicted on felony sexual battery charges. The former teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a student.

According to the Wooster City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Tefs, the choir teacher resigned from her position in June, shortly before Wooster Police began investigating her for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. Police believe the alleged rape happened on school property.

“I’ve never seen this happen before in my career and I’m shocked that we’re dealing with it today,” said Dr. Tefs.

Police said 37-year-old Emily Patterson is accused of sexually assaulting her 17-year-old student.

The choir teacher was hired at Wooster High School in 2012.

Dr. Tefs says in her eight years as an employee he never had any complaints about Patterson, which is why he said no one saw this coming.

“It’s a range of emotions really,” Tef said. “I’m actually at a complete loss. There’s certainly anger um but there’s a lot of sadness and compassion for the alleged victim and just absolute astonishment.”

In June, Wooster Police came out to the high school to investigate a sexual assault.

“You know as educators we have such a position of authority and power over students that we value relationships that we develop with our students and this has broken a lot of trust I’m sure and the act is just unconscionable and completely unacceptable,” Tefs said.

Dr. Tefs says it is hard not to feel at least partially responsible."

“Well it’s hard not to,” said Tefs. “You wonder what you could have done differently.”

Tefs said he will have his eyes wide open throughout this process and will be looking into the possibility of putting more policies in place to protect students.

As of now, he says they already run background checks of all the teachers they hire.

Superintendent Michael Tefs gave the following statement:

"I am saddened beyond words to inform you that one of our former employees, Emily Patterson (Hired: 8/16/2012 and Resigned: 6/17/2020), will soon be arraigned on two counts (Felony 3) of sexual battery. Though I have yet to see the specifics of the investigation, the incident allegedly occurred on school property, and while she was an employee (Vocal Music) of our school system.

Though I am, frankly, frustrated and disgusted by what, if proven true, would be the single most egregious act I have ever experienced as a professional, my heart breaks for the alleged victim, a student. As educators, we are in a position of authority and power over our students. There are no excuses for nefarious and intolerable actions of the kind that has been alleged has taken place and I will immediately file a notice with the Office of professional Conduct at the Ohio Department of Education, as required by Ohio law. 2020 has delivered enough challenges, to say the least. This though sickens me. I am at a complete loss and overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions; anger, grief, sadness, compassion, fear, and absolute astonishment.

As this case works its way through the criminal justice system, I will provide you with updates as necessary to keep you informed. In the meantime, let’s please stay strong and united as the 500+ employees of this school district, especially during the Pandemic, you have been amazing and consummate professionals. The unconscionable action of one should not negatively reflect upon the rest of us.

Again, I am saddened and so very sorry to deliver this news to you today."

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