LEBANON, Ohio - The prosecution rests, so on Wednesday, attorneys begin their defense of a former Mason teacher accused of having sex with some students. Stacy Schuler, 33, is accused of having sex with five of her male students on five different days in the fall of 2010
Attorneys plan to call former students, friends and colleagues to the stand to defend Schuler and talk about her as a quality teacher and a person who helped students in positive ways.
The defense also plans to have expert testimony from a psychologist to support the defense claims that Schuler has mental illnesses including bi-polar disorder. Schuler, who resigned from her job as a health and physical education teacher after being charged, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. She chose to have a judge hear her case instead of a jury. Her attorneys say she doesn't remember any of the incidents that the male students allege.
In Tuesday's testimony, former female students, who considered Stacy Schuler a friend, testified for the prosecution.
One female student, who worked as an aide in Schuler's classroom, says Schuler confessed to her that something happened with a male student and if she got caught she'd have to plead insanity. The former student told Judge Robert Peeler, "she said she was afraid she'd lose everything if people found out." According to the student, Schuler was "Really upset. Really afraid to lose her job."
Another female student says she confronted Schuler after hearing her classmate talk about the allegations.
"Said hey, He's telling people that you guys had sex and I did not believe it whatsoever. So, I went and told her that he's saying these things. You might want to go to administration or do something about it and I was kinda wondering why she hadn't."
The second female student says Schuler didn't seem too worried about the "rumors" going around school until a few weeks later.
"She started bawling and said it's true. It's true. It's true what he's telling everyone is true. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I can't do my yoga. She asked me if I'd been noticing in class, because she was my yoga teacher, that she hadn't been practicing with us anymore and she said that it was true and it was true she had done it. It's wrong. I can't believe it and then she started bawling more."
Two young men also testified Tuesday morning that they had sex with Schuler in her Springboro home. They gave graphic details of what happened when they and their friends had sex with Schuler in the same night. They also testified that they smoked marijuana and drank alcohol with Schuler.
Two other male students gave similar testimony Monday.
One of the alleged victims who testified Tuesday says he warned Schuler that a classmate started talking about what was going on at her house. He suggested she move someplace else.
"She was just very nervous and I told her, 'look, if he tells people you're going to be in trouble. I thought I just needed to let her know. And she was like, I know, I know but I have a job I can't just pick up and leave… I just thought I needed to let her know,'" he said.
Alleged victims testified that she talked about the incidents with students even after they happened. "Everybody knew it was going on. For her to say that she didn't know it was going on, I think that's the lie," said one of the alleged victims.
The investigation into Schuler began after the school received a tip about the alleged activity. The school contacted police.