Olentangy Teacher Accused Of Rape Had Marijuana Grow Operation In His Home

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A search warrant indicates that a teacher accused of rape may also face drug charges.

Matthew Rausenberg, 39, was arrested Monday night. Rausenberg was an employee at Arrowhead Elementary School in the Olentangy Local School District.

Rausenberg is accused of sexually abusing two girls, ages 8 and 10, in his classroom between 2006 and 2010. One of the incidents was allegedly recorded on a cell phone.

10TV has now uncovered a search warrant that says Rausenberg may have been growing marijuana in his home.

 

 

Investigators searching his Columbus home on Maynard Avenue found 33 marijuana plants and five grow lamps. Officials say Delaware County officials made the discovery while searching the home as part of the abuse investigation. Columbus police were contacted to conduct a separate search on the drugs.

Rausenberg is currently charged with rape and gross sexual imposition. He was arraigned in Delaware County Court on Tuesday and a judge set his bond at $1 million.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

10TV obtained Matthew Rausenberg's personnel file.  It mostly outlines an excellent teaching record.

Stellar recommendations and an impressive resume working with kids back to 1995.  On paper, Rausenberg looks like a nearly perfect teacher.  One evaluation states, "You have created a learning environment in which students can make good choices."  In another, "You are an outstanding role model for your students."

But were signs overlooked? 

In one evaluation, Rausenberg was asked about his goals, he stated "I would like to meet with each child individually, once a week for a reading conference."  According to the criminal complaint, it was during private reading sessions where Rausenberg allegedly sexually assaulted and groped two young girls. 

Rausenberg was also flagged two years ago for allowing children to massage his shoulders and sit in his lap.  His explanation was a student rubbed her elbow on his upper back, but he didn't want to reprimand or embarrass her.  He received a warning for "not clearly defining the boundaries for students" and told to "exercise better judgment."  But 10TV heard from other parents they thought for a long time he was inappropriate with children.  One couple tells us they reported Rausenberg for rubbing their daughter's leg while sitting in his lap.

"To touch a child like that; I was very, very mad," said parent Linda Smith.

That incident was never documented.  The district says it is looking into it. 

There is a code of conduct through the Ohio Department of Education.  It prohibits conduct unbecoming, specifically "committing any act of sexual abuse of a student."  It states incidents should be reported but doesn't clearly define what a reportable incident would be.  The district has similar guidelines.

Rausenberg did have one former brush with the law.  When he was 18, he was caught shoplifting a pair of jeans, but that's his only criminal offense.

 

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