Experts back Mason teacher's defense

Students: Teacher was never 'flirty'

LEBANON, Ohio - Defense attorneys rested their case in the former Mason High School teacher's trial Wednesday afternoon after two experts testified on Stacy Schuler's behalf. Schuler did not testify.

Schuler, 33, is accused of having sex with five male students in her home on several occasions.

She has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. She says she does not remember the incidents she is accused of.

A toxicologist and psychologist backed Shuler's defense Wednesday afternoon by testifying that Schuler's judgement could have been drastically impaired because of a combination of her mental illnesses, an anti-depressant she was taking, and the alcohol she was drinking.

"The combined effects of the use of Zoloft and moderate to heavy alcohol consumption are consistent with abhorrent behavior described as well as the memory lapses," said toxicologist Harry Plotnick.

Phycologist Ken Manges testified,"I believe that she had a severe mental disease when she participated in those sexual acts with those guys."

When being questioned by the assistant prosecutor, the witnesses agreed that warnings come with the pills and everyone responds differently to medications.

Prosecutors will be calling another psychologist to testify Thursday morning. That expert is expected to have a different take on the case. Closing arguments are also expected Thursday.

The judge can rule on this trial right away, or he can take it under advisement. Schuler chose to have a Judge Robert Peeler hear her trial instead of a jury.

Before the experts testified Wednesday, eight former students testified, painting a positive picture of Schuler. They said Schuler was a phenomenal teacher and always available to students who were having personal issues.

They also said she did not flirt with students.The alleged victims testified that Schuler flirted with them.

One of the students who testified Wednesday said he probably wouldn't be alive without Schuler's guidance. He says she helped him get off drugs.

All of the students who testified Wednesday said Schuler's behavior was never inappropriate. They said the allegations surprised them because that's not the "Miss Schuler they know."

The allegations are, "very hard for me to believe," said one of the students.

Schulers mother also testified Wednesday that she could tell something was wrong last fall. "There was no emotion in her voice at all," said Judith Schuler. "There was no emotion. She was very depressed," she said.

Earlier this week the judge heard from the five young men who said they had sex with Schuler at her Springboro home. Two of the men 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 the former teacher.

Two former female students testified Tuesday that Schuler confessed to them and admitted she knew it was wrong. One female student, who worked as an aide in Schuler's classroom, said Schuler confessed to her that something happened with a male student and if she got caught she'd plead insanity.

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