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High school teacher is charged with showing obscene tape

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A teacher and basketball coach at Monroeville High School in Huron County has been charged with showing an "obscene" videotape of himself to a female student, a municipal prosecutor said yesterday.

Shane Ash, 37, of 5537 Forest Green St. in Toledo was charged Thursday in Norwalk Municipal Court with one count of disseminating material harmful to juveniles, a felony, city Prosecutor Jim Conway said.

If convicted, Mr. Ash faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

Mr. Ash, a social studies teacher and head coach of Monroeville's varsity boys basketball team, is free on $5,000 bond and faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 26.

The prosecutor said he expects Mr. Ash's case to be presented to a Huron County grand jury.

According to Mr. Conway, Mr. Ash showed the student the video at school on Feb. 25, 2004. "It was a home video, and it did have the defendant in it," the prosecutor said. "The nature of the tape was obscene. That's why it's a felony."

He declined to elaborate on the tape or its contents.

School officials informed Monroeville police late last month of allegations that Mr. Ash made inappropriate remarks about the appearance of several female students and kissed at least one of them.

Mr. Conway said authorities are continuing their investigation and that additional misdemeanor charges could be filed against Mr. Ash.

The teacher was placed on paid administrative leave when the allegations surfaced, and his status remains unchanged, Superintendent Carol Girton said yesterday. Mr. Ash will remain on leave until the district completes an internal investigation of his actions, the superintendent said.

Mr. Ash, who was head boys basketball coach at Swanton High School from 1999 to 2001, joined Monroeville as a teacher and coach at the start of the 2003-04 school year, Ms. Girton said.

The district is using a substitute to teach Mr. Ash's ninth and 11th grade classes and will hire an interim coach for the basketball team, if necessary, the superintendent said.

Contact Steve Murphy at:

smurphy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6078.

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