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The Toledo Blade
Nicole M. Long enters Defiance County Common Pleas Court where she pleaded guilty to sexual battery with a student.
The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
DEFIANCE – One afternoon in June, Nicole M. Long, who was an English teacher at Ayersville High School, had sex with a 17-year-old male student in her Defiance home, authorities said.
It was an act that cost the 29-year-old married teacher her job and yesterday put Long, who is pregnant, in Defiance County Common Pleas Court where she pleaded guilty to sexual battery, a third-degree felony.
In exchange for that guilty plea, Carson Slade, a county assistant prosecutor, recommended that Long be jailed in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, instead of being sent to prison.
Ms. Slade also recommended that Long forfeit her teacher’s license, be placed on probation, and ordered to attend counseling.
Long’s classification as a sexual offender was not discussed among prosecutors, Ms. Slade said.
Judge Joseph Schmenk scheduled sentencing for March 13 and ordered a presentence investigation.
If he would have sentenced Long immediately without such an investigation, the law would have required him to send her to prison for at least one year, he said.
She still could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
Ayersville Superintendent Tod Hug called Long’s guilty plea “an inevitable decision.”
“The facts in the case spoke for themselves,” he said.
The case came to light this winter when the Defiance County sheriff’s office looked into rumors of sex between Long and the student.
She was indicted by a Defiance County grand jury Wednesday.
It was unclear whether Long’s baby, which is due in early March, is a result of her affair with the student, who has since turned 18.
Ms. Slade and Superinten-dent Hug said they did not know, and Long did not return phone calls from The Blade.
Whether the affair produced a baby does not have a bearing on the criminal case, Ms. Slade said.
But if the case would have gone to trial, she said Long’s pregnancy could have been evidence of sexual conduct.
Judge Schmenk released Long on a personal recognizance bond and ordered her to have no contact with the victim, to contact her counselor at least once a week, and not to move from her present address without the consent of the court.
When the judge asked her if she was under the influence of any medications as she answered questions in court, she replied that she was taking Zoloft, a medication for depression and anxiety, as prescribed by a doctor.
Long wore a camel-colored winter coat throughout yesterday’s court appearance, which was attended by about a dozen people in addition to news media representatives and court employees.
A group of people related to the victim, said Sally King, victims advocate for Defiance County, sat on a front bench and left without speaking to reporters.
Ms. King said they did not wish to make a statement.
Long resigned effective Jan. 18 from the Ayersville school district in southeast Defiance County.
It had paid her almost $42,000 a year to teach four senior English classes, one freshman English class, an advanced placement English class for seniors, and speech, as well as to advise the staff of the school newspaper.
Before she resigned, Long had asked the school district for maternity leave beginning March 2.
She was employed in Ayersville from 1999 to 2001, spent the 2001-2002 school year at Defiance High School, which is her alma mater, and returned to Ayersville in 2002.
Contact Jane Schmucker at: