UPDATE @ 9:55 p.m.: Sentencing for convicted ex-Springboro gym teacher Austin Hopkins is scheduled for April 22 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Hopkins remains in the county jail with no bond, according to online records.
EARLIER REPORT (March 14)
Former Springboro gym teacher, Austin Hopkins, has been found guilty of 34 of the 36 counts of gross sexual imposition after an hours long jury trial.
PREVIOUS REPORT: Trial continues for former Springboro teacher accused of sex crimes
WHIO spoke with a parent of one of the victims following Hopkins's verdict.
"Tonight, for once, we're going to go home and sleep in peace, and its just -- after all this time, justice is finally here."
Deliberations began shortly after 10 a.m. Friday.
Prosecutors told the jury before deliberations that the case is about more than just the 28 girls, but making sure Hopkins could never hurt another child again.
Throughout the trial, jurors heard testimony from parents, detectives, and a psychologist who specializes in sex offenders.
The parent we spoke to recalled their emotions upon hearing the guilty verdict.
"It was the most amazing feeling I've ever felt in my life," the parent told WHIO.
"Tonight we will all rest easy because he is officially behind bars right now. Tonight he is not out walking the streets, tonight he is not home, tonight he is not sleeping in a comfortable bed. Tonight he is in handcuffs and in a jail cell. Where he belongs. So he cannot do this to any more children."
The Springboro School District released a statement in regard to the jury’s verdict:
“Springboro Schools supports the jury’s verdict in full. Mr. Hopkins’ behavior is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated now, or ever, within Springboro Schools. As stated previously, Springboro Schools is a family, and as a family, we are not impervious to difficult times. Yet, we together are always here for one-another, hand-in-hand, to support those in need.”
The parent we spoke to alleged Hopkins's family was hysterical following the verdict, exclaiming that they loved him, that he wasn't guilty, that they knew he was innocent.
Defense attorneys argued that due to his autism, Hopkins could not have known what he was doing was inappropriate.
"Today was an amazing Friday the 13th. This is a holiday in our lives."