There’s a special place reserved in hell for those that prey on children…
SPRINGBORO, Ohio – Prosecutors are saying that 25-year-old P.E. teacher John Austin Hopkins inappropriately touched 88 elementary school girls… and then the school attempted to cover it up.
Now, a lawsuit from the children’s parents looks to get justice for the young girls.
Investigators say that Hopkins didn’t just abuse his victims, he manipulated them into competing for his attention.
“A lot of these little girls would compete for his attention during the class … One of these little girls he had convinced that they were going to get married when they were older,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said.
A few weeks ago, the parents of 12 young girls at the Ohio school filed a law suit against the Springboro School District, alleging that former gym teacher John Hopkins had been caught on video inappropriately touching first-grade girls more than 100 times.
The parents say that a lot more children have been victimized.
“They all took place inside the gymnasium area… we have video of all of them,” Fornshell said.
He said the footage was damning and showed Hopkins “placing many of the girls on his lap, straddling him in what I would describe as a sexual manner.”
They also described the video showing the teacher “putting his hands up their shirts and skirts,” Fornshell said.
“The kids may not notice anything at all going wrong, but when you’re watching it as an adult, your stomach starts rolling,” Fornshell said. “Because you’re like, ‘This is not OK.’”
News 5 in Cleveland said the suit claims that the district knew that Hopkins was conducting his class with a locked door after he rigged up a doorbell to alert him to anyone who might walk into the gym.
— WHIO-TV (@whiotv) September 16, 2019
And worst of all, the suit says, the district had caught Hopkins’ atrocious acts on surveillance cameras… but refused to release footage to the parents, directly in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, according to Fox 19.
A parent became alerted to the situation when they asked their daughter how their day was at school.
“I finally got to sit on Mr. Hopkins’ lap,” was her response.
Hopkins was reportedly placed on administrative leave on March 8, then resigned from his position at the elementary school four days later. In August, he was indicted by a Warren County Grand Jury for 36 counts of gross sexual imposition.
He is set to appear in court at 2 p.m. Thursday.
— WCPO (@WCPO) September 17, 2019
Fox 19 said that the suit is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, and would require the district to develop or adopt a curriculum to train staff to identify and prevent child abuse.
Communities in Pennsylvania said this week that they too were being plagued by an “infestation of child predators”.
The most recent incident occurred when a woman and her young daughter were biking in Odorisio Park. The mother confronted a male subject for staring at her daughter.
When confronted, the man entered a white Jeep Cherokee and fastened his seatbelt as if he were about to leave. Instead, he sat in his vehicle and continued to stare at the young girl. Radnor police are investigating the incident.
“It’s like a serious infestation of predators,” a concerned Haverford resident said. “It’s scary that so many reports of potential abductions are circulating.”
The mother said she is proud of the swift action taken by police thus far.
“It’s great to see sketches of these sickos circulated. The police have always been very vigilant when it comes to our children.”
Another recent incident was on September 28th as an 8-year-old girl was returning home from Cardinal John Foley School in Haverford Township. She was allegedly approached by an unidentified male who asked her if she needed a ride.
The girl declined and wisely ran to a neighbor’s home. The neighbor immediately alerted the police.
Just 12 days prior to that situation, a 14-year old boy said he was approached by a man in a black sedan.
The man allegedly instructed the boy to “hop in.” Luckily, the boy’s father was nearby. When he approached, the man fled the scene.
And finally, on August 25th, three students under the age of 11 were leaving Saint Bernadette’s School in Upper Darby when they claim to have been followed by a man driving a dark van.
Fortunately, none of the victims in Pennsylvania were physically harmed. We only wish we could say the same for this next
A Jacksonville man, who is HIV positive, is facing 12 felony counts after police say he photographed himself having sexual relations with a 12-year-old. He then uploaded the photos to Tumblr, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
JSO arrested the man, Columbus Donovan Jeffrey, 42, last Thursday. He is now facing felony charges that include sexual battery of a minor, producing and promoting child pornography, possessing child pornography and having sex without disclosure of HIV.
Deputies say that they received a tip about Jeffrey back in September from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The NCMEC stated that that Tumblr identified a user who had recently uploaded nine child pornography files.
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After reviewing the photographic content, authorities identified two files that meet the definition of child pornography, according to Florida statutes.
According to Macon, Georgia CBS13 WMAZ, deputies then obtained the IP address of the user and found out it belonged to an AT&T U-Verse user in Jacksonville, Florida. After requesting available account subscriber information, police discovered that several of the images were taken via cell phone on May 3, one of which showed the face of the suspect with a young male child, the JSO report said.
JSO immediately contacted AT&T confirming the IP address that the child pornography photos were uploaded from. AT&T confirmed the IP address belonged to Jeffrey, the JSO report said. JSO also discovered that his email address belonged to the Tumblr user who uploaded the child pornography files onto its site, the police report said.
Serving a search warrant at Jeffrey’s home on October 3, authorities found a silver LG phone in his bedroom. Jeffrey was also interviewed by investigators.
Jeffrey denied any sexual relations with children, according to the police report. He did claim ownership of the phone that they found. He also stated that he couldn’t remember any details of the incident, the police report said.
During the interview, Jeffrey told investigators that he is HIV positive.
Police then interviewed the 12-year-old victim. According to the police report, the victim said that he spent several days at Jeffrey’s house while his mother went to work. He said that Jeffrey had some sort of sexual interaction with him on three separate occasions and that the first time, Jeffrey took a picture of their faces.
The victim also claimed that Jeffrey took pictures of the incidents, the JSO report said.
Deputies said that they did find the images on Jeffrey’s cell phone.
Jeffrey is in Duval County on a $600,033 bond.
Anyone with information on the incidents in Pennsylvania are urged to call local authorities.