Ex-Logan County superintendent takes plea deal in child sex case

Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 12:16 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

            Heather O’Donnell, left, and Patrick O’Donnell.
Heather O’Donnell, left, and Patrick O’Donnell.

The former Indian Lake superintendent who faced 14 charges in connection with an alleged child rape accepted a plea deal Wednesday.

Patrick O’Donnell, 52, entered an Alford plea to one count of gross sexual imposition. That means he didn’t admit to the crime but accepts its punishment.

RELATED: Trial starts for Logan County superintendents in child rape case

Heather O’Donnell, his wife and the Midwest Regional Education Services Center superintendent, had two charges of children endangering dropped against her as part of the plea. She’s on paid leave pending the outcome of the case.

Patrick O’Donnell faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He will also have to register as a sex offender for 25 years. Logan County Common Pleas Judge William Goslee ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and a new court date wasn’t set.

“It was an agreement that we had actually been working on for the past couple days,” Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said. “These type of cases are always traumatic. You don’t want to have to put the victim on the stand and be subject to trauma.”

Patrick O’Donnell had faced felony charges that included rape-child under 13, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition. The Indian Lake Local Schools fired him from his position in November. The alleged victim in the case wasn’t a student at the district.

The plea agreement was approved by the victim, Stewart said, and his main priority was to get justice for the victim.

EXTRA: Logan County superintendent in child sex case sues district

“We’re satisfied with the plea agreement,” Stewart said. “Mr. O’Donnell is facing prison time and will have to register as a sex offender.”

Along with the possible prison time, O’Donnell won’t be allowed to be a superintendent anymore, Stewart said.

In court, Patrick O’Donnell was asked by Goslee why he decided to take the plea deal.

MORE: Indian Lake superintendent charged with child rape fired

“To avoid the consequences of the trial,” Patrick O’Donnell said.

Patrick O’Donnell was taken to the Logan County Jail after his plea, where he is being held without bond, defense attorney Samuel Shamansky said.

The plea was in the best interest of everyone involved, Shamansky said.

“Cases of this nature are inherently unpredictable,” he said.

The deal is a good one for the defense, Shamansky said, given the mandatory life sentences the suspect had faced if convicted by a jury.

PREVIOUSLY: Trial this week for superintendents charged in sex abuse case

Dennis Pergram represented Heather O’Donnell in the case and declined comment.

Dropping both counts against Heather O’Donnell is in the best interest of the victim, Stewart said. The victim remained strong throughout the entire process, he said.

“This girl showed tremendous heart and tremendous strength,” Steward said. “She faced a lot of pressure.”

Patrick O’Donnell was placed on paid leave in June after he was arrested. The Indian Lake School Board fired him in November and Patrick O’Donnell sued for his job back shortly after. Shamansky didn’t know Wednesday if that lawsuit would be dropped.

A call by the Springfield News-Sun to the Midwest Regional Education Services Center to ask about Heather O’Donnell’s future with the district wasn’t returned.

The plea deal was agreed to after a marathon jury selection process on Tuesday.

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Here's why you should never use your hazard lights while driving

Published: Saturday, January 09, 2016 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Monday, June 06, 2016 @ 10:20 AM

How Not to Use Your Hazard Lights

A Georgia police department is advising drivers to not use hazard lights while driving, even in the rain.


In some states, the use of hazard lights is permitted while driving.


>> Read more trending stories  


The metro Atlanta police department warned that using hazard lights may actually signal to other drivers that you are stopped or stalled on the road, and the lights can reduce the ability to see if the vehicles ahead are braking.


Hazard lights also "turn off your ability to use your turn signals," the police department wrote in its Facebook post.


Instead of using hazard lights while driving, consider not driving at all until road conditions improve.


"If you cannot see, pull over to a safe place and wait (until) driving conditions are better," the department wrote. "Your flashers should only be used while your vehicle is stopped or disabled on the roadway or shoulder. This is a sign for emergency services that someone is in need of assistance."


Traffic Law TuesdayDo you use your Hazard Lights in the rain?  Using your hazard lights while driving is illegal in...

Posted by Johns Creek Police Department on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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19-year-old, who ‘didn’t appear she had planned on being in public,’ arrested for felony drug possession

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony charge after police said she was found in possession of 93 sedative pills.
A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony charge after police said she was found in possession of 93 sedative pills.

A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony charge after police said she was found in possession of 93 sedative pills.

A Fairfield police officer pulled a vehicle over on Pleasant Avenue near Hunter Road on May 23 for having no license plate lights. While approaching the vehicle, the officer said he saw the driver “stuffing a bag between her legs inside her pants.”

POLICE NEWS: Hamilton man cited for hitting house with car

The driver, Trinity Gilbert, of Hamilton, was ordered to remove the bag and place it on the seat.

The resealable bag contained 93 alprazolam pills, which often goes by the brand name of Xanax.

Gilbert said the pills belonged to a friend — a person she would not name — that left them in the vehicle, according to a police report.

POLICE NEWS: Suspect’s wig may connect 2 area bank robberies, police say

“At the time of the stop she was wearing pajama pants and a knit shirt,” according to the officer’s report. “Based on her clothing, it didn’t appear she had planned on being in public.”

Gilbert was charged with possession of drugs, a fourth-degree felony, and issued a summons to appear in Fairfield Municipal Court. She was arraigned in court on Thursday morning and is set to have a preliminary hearing May 31.

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Man upset over 97-cent coffee throws it at McDonald’s manager, police say

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 4:18 AM

WATCH: Man Upset Over Coffee Throws it at McDonald’s Manager

Police in Lacey, Washington, are asking the public to help identify a man who they say threw hot coffee at a McDonald’s manager Friday morning. 

Investigators with the Lacey Police Department said a man walked into the restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee, but was upset over the 97-cent price.

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After he received his coffee, the man poured it into his to-go mug and then demanded a refill from the manager. 

Investigators said the manager asked the man to leave after he got verbally abusive about the price of the coffee.

The man then got upset and threw the cup of hot coffee into the manager’s face and fled. 

Police said the manager had burns on her neck. KIRO reported that the manager was being treated for third-degree burns.

The man is being sought for simple assault, according to Lacey Police.

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Endangered Missing Adult Alert for Columbus man, 79, is canceled

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:53 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:51 PM

Stanley Lapczynski
Stanley Lapczynski

UPDATE @ 11:50 p.m.: The alert for the 79-year-old Columbus man has been canceled.


An Endangered Missing Adult Alert has been issued for a Columbus man. 

Stanley Lapcynski, 79, suffers from dementia and was last seen around noon Friday when he left his residence but did not return.

He stands 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a Home Depot shirt and blue jeans.

He is believed to be driving a dark green 2001 Chevrolet Aveo with Ohio plate FFW4599.

Anyone with information is urged to call police or the Ohio Attorney General Missing Persons Unit at 866-693-9171.

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