Logan Co. superintendent accused of not reporting rape on unpaid leave

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 10:19 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 3:37 PM

Heather O'Donnell on unpaid leave

A Logan County superintendent accused of not reporting child sexual abuse was placed on unpaid leave last week.

Heather O’Donnell, the superintendent at Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, has been charged with two counts of child endangering in connection with child rape charges lodged against her husband, Indian Lake Superintendent Patrick O’Donnell.

MORE: Logan County superintendent suspended after endangering charges

She was suspended by the Midwest Regional board on July 14 and the board agreed to place her on voluntary unpaid leave on Aug. 17.

“The justice system will proceed and determine her guilt or innocence and the ESC reserves the right to take further action depending on the outcome,” a news release issued by the Midwest board says.

Her attorney, Sam Shamansky, said his client is innocent and he is confident a jury will find her innocent of any wrongdoing.

“Heather is wrongly accused,” he said. “She had never engaged in any sort of criminal behavior that is alleged in the indictment. She is ready to go before a jury of her peers.”

He said his client never hid any sexual assault.

“When this case is fully and fairly presented during a jury trial, people will have the full story,” Shamansky said.

Calls to the Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart weren’t returned. The school board previously said in a statement that the charges filed against Heather O’Donnell were “horrible.”

MORE: Logan County school superintendent indicted on child rape charges

“The ESC remains committed to our first priority — partnering with school districts to improve outcomes for students and families,” the news release says. “We are committed to working with any member district, staff member, student or family who has concerns about anything surrounding our ESC, including this issue.”

Calls from the Springfield News-Sun to the attorney for Patrick O’Donnell weren’t returned.

A Logan County grand jury indicted Heather O’Donnell and Patrick O’Donnell on July 11. Patrick O’Donnell faces several charges — four counts of rape-victim under 13, four counts of sexual battery and six counts of gross sexual imposition. Indian Lake Local Schools board of education has moved to terminate him but he has filed an appeal of that process, according to school board meeting minutes.

Investigators have said the alleged rapes occurred over a three-year period and involve a single child who’s now 13. That child isn’t a student at Indian Lake and was known to both O’Donnells, according to police.

MORE: Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges

The police have alleged the child went to Heather O’Donnell at least two times to report the abuse to her but Heather O’Donnell allegedly didn’t report the accusations to authorities.

Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:47 PM

Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto
(Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes.

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Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck.

The man did not show the woman a badge or a weapon. The incident happened during the daytime hours and appears to have been an isolated occurrence.

Investigators said they believe they know who the man is, but no arrests were immediately made.

Officials said the impersonator is not the same one who stopped people earlier this year.

7-year sentence for Lebanon man who possessed child porn

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:24 PM

            Michael Kirkwood of Lebanon pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dayton.
Michael Kirkwood of Lebanon pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dayton.

A 60-year-old Lebanon man was sentenced on Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 7 years for possession of child pornography.

With time for credit served, Michael Kirkwood could be free in five years, according to the sentence ordered by Judge Walter Rice during a hearing in federal court in Dayton.

Kirkwood has been in jail since June 2016. He was arrested then when he met a federal agent who had posed as 13-year-old girl Kirkwood was to buy underwear at Victoria’s Secret for her to wear while they had sex, court documents said.

RELATED: Lebanon man accused of coercion, enticement of minor on Facebook

Kirkwood was originally charged with coercion and enticement.

In January, Kirkwood pleaded guilty to the single charge, in a plea also recognizing he actually communicated via Facebook with the 13-year-old victim and admitted “chatting” on-line with about 20 other girls of similar ages.

The federal agent heading the investigation said Kirkwood seemed to be “grooming” the victim, according to Rice.

MORE: Locals part of task force working to curb child porn in digital world

On Wednesday, Rice said child pornography crimes were “never-ending” for victims wondering if pictures taken of them as children could viewed decades later.

Rice also noted Kirkwood’s otherwise law-abiding life, advanced age, low expectations he would ever commit another crime and multiple health problems as reasons he should be considered for release after five years.

RELATED: Lebanon man pleads guilty to child pornography charge

Since his arrest, Kirkwood’s wife has sought divorce and sold their house and he has lost his job as a machinist, according to statements during the hearing in federal court.

Rice also ordered Kirkwood to forfeit a handful of computer devices seized in the case. Investigation found 84 images of children having sex with adults on Kirkwood’s computers, Rice said during the hearing.

Kirkwood apologized but was unable to explain his motivation.

“I really can’t explain why I did it,” he said.

Rice fined Kirkwood $5,100 to go to victims of trafficking and other crime victims, while setting a hearing early next year to determine if he could pay additional fines from liquidation of the home he lived in before his arrest, a motorcycle and other property.

The judge urged Kirkwood to “work very, very hard” to determine “why this occurred.”

“It may give you peace in the years you have left,” Rice concluded.

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s, police say

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.
Austin Police Department
Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.(Austin Police Department)

Police in Austin, Texas, are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old.

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Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week.

On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from a store employee who watches for shoplifters at the Macy’s in the Domain shopping center. She told police she was watching the children, who were between 7 and 10 years old, through a security camera. According to the affidavit, they re-entered the store and met two women near the hotel bedding and pillow area.

The store worker told police that she saw the women point to some pillows, which the children then picked up before they “exited the store past the last point of purchase without attempting to pay for the items,” the affidavit said. The worker said in the affidavit that she confronted the children and identified herself as a Macy’s employee, after which point she said the children complied and started to come back with her to a store office.

The employee told police that as they were going back to the office, the two women approached her and one of them told her to let the children go and then pushed her, according to the affidavit. The other woman and the children began running away, the employee told police. She tried to grab the children, but the “female who told her to let her children go began to punch (her) on the left side of her face, chest and left arm with a closed fist causing (her) pain and redness,” the affidavit said.

The employee told police that she “tried to grab the female to detain her but the female took off running and (she) ripped (the woman’s) shirt off of her and the female ran out of the store wearing just a black bra,” the affidavit said.

A customer saw the woman running from the store and saw her and the children get into a white 2009 Chevy Malibu with a Texas license plate that matched a car registered to Lopez, according to the affidavit. Lopez was also identified by the store worker from a photo taken during a previous arrest, police said.

POLICE: Woman overdoses during sex, revived with Narcan 

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 11:32 AM

What You Need To Know: Opioids

A woman found snoring reportedly overdosed during sex with her boyfriend early Wednesday.

Around 4 a.m. Nov. 22, Dayton police and medics responded to the 400 block of Sheridan Avenue.

Area parents told 3-year-old cancer free two days before Thanksgiving

A concerned boyfriend, 28-years-old, called 911 after his girlfriend reportedly overdosed during sex, the police report says.

She was found by police partially clothed on the couch, snoring and unresponsive from a suspected heroin drug overdose.

The 33-year-old woman woke up after a couple doses of Narcan and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

The man said he didn’t see his girlfriend take anything, but that she often mixes alcohol and Xanax.