Sentencing to be held in mid-October –
By Patricia Beech –
A former Ohio Valley School District teacher charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old male student accepted a plea deal Thursday, Aug. 23 in Adams County Common Pleas Court.
Laura Welfley, 26, withdrew her former “not guilty” plea and entered a plea of guilty to one count of Sexual Battery, an F3-level offense in the Ohio Revised Code, Section 29907.03(A)(7)
The court, with Judge Brett Spencer presiding, accepted Welfley’s guilty plea.
As a Tier III sex offender for life, Welfley must report to authorities every 90 days. She could also be subject to a non-mandatory $10,000 fine and a non-mandatory prison sentence of 12-60 months.
Welfley, a seventh grade language arts teacher and track coach, resigned from her job at West Union High School on April 20, 2018 after being accused of inappropriate behavior with a male student.
According to investigators, a school resource officer was made aware of the situation and worked with the Prosecutor’s office to get an indictment.
In response to Welfley’s indictment Superintendent Richard Seas said “the safety of our students and staff is always a priority”.
“After our investigation of the situation, Laura Welfley resigned her employment from the Adams County Ohio Valley School District on April 20,” Seas said. “A report was made immediately to law enforcement.”
Welfley is scheduled for sentencing on Monday, Oct. 22 at 12:30 p.m.