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Published: Saturday, 4/30/2005

Teacher convicted of sex charge

PORT CLINTON - A former science teacher at Port Clinton High School has been convicted of having sex with one of his students.

Brett D. Dunbar, 25, pleaded no contest and was found guilty Thursday in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court on one count of sexual battery. As part of a plea agreement, Dunbar resigned from the district and surrendered his teaching certificate.

"He's now in a situation where he will not be in a leadership position where he's ever able to influence kids again," said Patrick Adkins, superintendent of Port Clinton City Schools. "This certainly will be the end of his teaching career."

Dunbar could receive up to five years in prison when he is sentenced June 24.

County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan said Dunbar had sex with the student, a 17-year-old girl, numerous times between March and December of last year. "There's only one victim that we know of," he said.

Port Clinton police began investigating Dunbar after the high school's assistant principal, Robert Beck, was informed in February of allegations that the teacher hosted parties for students and served them alcohol, Mr. Adkins said.

Dunbar was suspended with pay Feb. 27, the day after Mr. Beck learned of those allegations. Mr. Mulligan said police soon developed information concerning a sexual relationship between Dunbar and the 17-year-old girl.

The prosecutor said he decided not to pursue misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor because any jail time resulting from such convictions would have to be served concurrently to a prison sentence for the sexual battery count.

Mr. Adkins said Dunbar was in his second year with the district. He taught physics and chemistry and served as an assistant track coach.

The superintendent said the allegations against Dunbar were a shock, and that the teacher had done a good job in the classroom.

"Prior to this, his evaluations were topnotch," he said. "You never know."

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