I-Team: Austin Hopkins drops sentencing appeal; will serve prison time

SPRINGBORO — Austin Hopkins has dropped the appeal for his sentencing after being convicted on 34 sex crimes involving children while he was a Springboro schools gym teacher.

“I think it was a cost benefit analysis,” said Will Oswall, Hopkins' appellate attorney in the case.

>> Ex-Springboro gym teacher sentenced to 8 years in sex crimes case involving children

The dismissal of the appeal was filed in Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals today.

In the appeal, which was filed Sept. 2, Oswall said the prosecutor in his client’s case said Hopkins' prison sentence for his conviction was mandatory. Oswall argued, it was not.

“Had the trial court been aware that community control was an option, it could have at least been considered it, for some portion, if not all, of the prison sentence. In this case, it was clearly not even considered,” Oswall said in the appeal.

In an October interview, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told the I-Team’s Molly Koweek, that there was no mistake.

However, earlier this month Fornshell said the opposite.

While he did not fully agree a judge sentenced Hopkins' under the impression the sentence was mandatory, he acknowledged Hopkins was not subject to a mandatory sentence.

Oswall said if Hopkins were to have gone forward with the appeal he could have risked more prison time if a judge overturned his sentence.

“He understands that and that’s a lot better outcome than potentially getting more time," Oswall said.

Hopkins was sentenced to 8 years in prison for the crimes.