Former Deputy Says He Had Sexual Relationship With Student
In Richland County Court Monday, Michael Gouge admitted to a sexual relationship with a female student of his at Pioneer Career and Technology Center and investigators say they are looking into whether or not she was the only one.
The investigation began when administrators at the school started hearing rumors.
That's when Shelby Police got involved, and questioned the student.
"She indicated that there had been a relationship, that when she had turned 18 that relationship kind of changed, from student-teacher," says Shelby Police Captain Lance Combs. "There was some texting and some telephone calls, and she acknowledged that there had been some physical contact."
Combs says that contact culminated at a Shelby motel, where the two had sex.
Though the student was 18 at the time and says the sex wasn't forced on her, police say the contact still constitutes a crime.
"Under Ohio law, under sexual battery, because of his position of authority with a teacher-student relationship, the age is immaterial," says Combs. "She kind of indicated she was unsure whether she was able to give consent. She wasn't sure that she could say no. Because he has that supervisory role over her at the school, it becomes a crime. It's a third degree felony."
Combs says Gouge was well aware of the law, considering his past career.
He was a deputy with the Richland County Sheriff's Office. He left in 2010 to accept the position at Pioneer," where Combs says Gouge was teaching Criminal Justice.
Gouge has pleaded guilty to sexual battery. He will be sentenced August 5th.
He has been on leave from his job since this investigation began.
10tv was not able to reach Gouge or the school's superintendent for comment.
Investigators say there are indications of phone and text contact between Gouge and other students.
They ask anyone with knowledge of any other inappropriate contact to call Shelby Police.
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