TIFFIN - A former teacher fired for having sex with a student who later became his wife was sentenced Monday.
Daniel C. Jacobs, 57, began serving a 60-day sentence in the Seneca County jail Monday.
He pleaded guilty July 26 to corruption of a minor and contributing to the unruliness of a child.
The charges stem from a relationship he had with a former Columbia High School student in the Tiffin City School District.
Mr. Jacobs was a teacher with the Hopewell-Loudon school district who taught driver education for area students.
He had to permanently surrender his teaching certificates with the Ohio Department of Education and will be forced to register as a sexually oriented offender with the local sheriff's department for the next 10 years.
“That was our concern through this whole case, to never have this man in a school setting again,” said Seneca County Prosecutor Ken Egbert, Jr. “When parents send their children to school, they expect a professional relationship between the teachers and students. He violated that.”
Mr. Jacobs lives in the Dayton suburb of Fairborn, O., so he will register with the Greene County sheriff's office when he is released from jail. His new wife, the victim in the case, could not be reached for comment.
The two met during a driver education course Mr. Jacobs taught in Tiffin schools. Police were alerted to the relationship in 1998 when Wal-Mart employees turned over nude photographs of the young woman. Though the victim was 17 and no longer considered a juvenile at the time the photos were taken, police continued to investigate the matter, and Mr. Jacobs was charged with sexual battery, Mr. Egbert said.
Because the teen was not willing to cooperate, the sexual battery charge was dropped and prosecutors pursued the two first-degree misdemeanor charges.
“The victim was very uncooperative,” Mr. Egbert. “But we need to look at this case because we were concerned that this would happen to other students somewhere else.”
Mr. Egbert said Mr. Jacobs was married with adult children at the time he was being investigated. He then divorced his wife and married the student, who is believed to be around 19.
An attorney for Mr. Jacobs, Frank Kahler in Tiffin, was not available for comment.
Former Hopewell-Loudon Superintendent Ronald Jump said Mr. Jacobs had worked in the school district more than 25 years, as a biology teacher, then as a bus driver and driving instructor.
Although he had retired as a teacher, Mr. Jacobs was fired from his job as a bus driver by the district when the relationship was made public, Mr. Jump said. The North Central Ohio Education Service Center terminated his employment as a driver education instructor.
“Everything was alleged at that time, but he was dismissed from his job because of the alleged activity,” said Mr. Jump, who retired in July. “It was a board of education decision, and it would be the superintendent's job to carry it out.”
Mr. Jump said he was surprised and disappointed to learn of the relationship. He said the board's decision was based on the idea that a student, regardless if considered a juvenile or not, is still a student, and the instructor has power over him or her. “You cannot exercise that power,” Mr. Jump said. “In this case it's a matter of immorality.”