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Springboro parents speak out about daughter’s abuse they say was at the hands of her teacher

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2019 @ 10:18 PM

One Springboro family is trying to cope after they say a former Springboro PE teacher John Austin Hopkins sexually abused their 7-year-old daughter.

Springboro parents are furious.

They said their young daughter was sexually abused at the hands of her teacher.

RELATED: Police reviewing hundreds of hours of video in Springboro PE teacher case

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“Straddling my daughter on your lap, rubbing her inner thigh and her stomach and putting her head in your neck. That’s not unprofessional misconduct. You’re molesting her,” the girl’s mother said. 

This is the first time the family of an alleged victim in connection with the investigation into John Austin Hopkins has spoken out. The former Springboro Schools physical education teacher has not been charged. He resigned in March, citing “personal and professional reasons” shortly after he had been placed on paid leave amid the investigation, according to the district. 

RELATED: Springboro Schools encourage parents to discuss misconduct with students amid investigation of PE teacher

These parents don’t want to reveal their identity to protect their daughter. But as they spoke to News Center 7’s Molly Koweek, they couldn’t hide their anger, fear and sadness over what they said happened to their little girl. 

“I dread the day that my daughter comes to me and asks me what happened to her and for me to explain it to her,” her father said. 

RELATED: Springboro physical education teacher put on leave over possible misconduct

This 7-year-old girl’s parents had to watch exactly what happened to their daughter. 

“He picked her up, had her straddle his lap. He proceeds to rub on her inner thigh, rub on her stomach, rub on her back,” the mother said. 

They said they watched surveillance video at the police department that was captured in Hopkins’ gym class at Clearcreek Elementary School. 

What they said they saw has affected the whole family. 

“What did I do wrong as a mother to make my, let my daughter feel like this was OK for somebody to violate her in this manner?” the mother said. 

RELATED: Springboro PE teacher resigns from 2nd position amid misconduct investigation 

Her father said it’s affected his relationship with his “Daddy’s girl.” 

“When my daughter goes to kiss me on the face or lips goodbye, hello, it’s different,” he said. “Is she just kissing a father, or she kissing a man? That’s what I deal with. She’s 7.” 

But as difficult as this has been for these parents, they said their daughter’s behavior hasn’t changed. 

“If she brings it up then obviously we’re going to have to go to therapy,” her mother said. 

Right now they don’t know just how much she understands. 

These parents said they wanted to come forward because they don’t think enough is being done to protect the community. 

RELATED: Investigation involving former Springboro PE teacher now in prosecutor’s hands

“I want this man convicted, hands down,” the girl’s father said. 

Right now the investigation into Hopkins is with the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Hopkins has not been charged. News Center 7 made several attempts to contact him. 

On Friday, we’ll hear from the parents about how they think the school handled the situation.

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