LEBANON — John Austin Hopkins has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.
Warren County Common Pleas Judge Robert Peeler, who presided at trial, said he believed Hopkins is in denial, that no one can do simple math to come up with an appropriate sentence. The judge called the case heart-wrenching.
Hopkins addressed the court, after several victim impact statements were given, and talked of death threats he has received during his case. He insisted he has faults but one of them is not being sexually attracted to his students.
Hopkins did not ask for a particular sentence, but did apologize to everyone involved in the case.
The prosecutor asked the court to sentence Hopkins to the maximum of 36 years in prison. According to criminal statute, the minimum was 27 years. A Warren County Common Pleas jury convicted the former Springboro schools gym teacher was convicted on 34 sex crimes involving children.
News Center 7′s Mike Campbell was in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing:
Hopkins was convicted in March on 34 of 36 counts of gross sexual imposition. The jury deliberated 11 hours.
>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge denies request for mistrial in John Austin Hopkins case
The sentencing hearing was delayed previously because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Peeler on Monday denied a motion from Hopkins’ defense team requesting a mistrial be declared, citing juror misconduct. Peeler said the defense offered insufficient evidence.
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