Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Teacher gets probation in sex case

Amelia faculty member admitted sex with student

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA - A former Amelia High School math teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with a student was sentenced Tuesday to five years probation and classified a sexually oriented offender.

Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ringland also ordered Gregory Payne, 29, to have no contact with the victim and to pay a $300 fine.

As part of his probation, the Bloomington, Ind., man will have to undergo random lie detector tests.

Payne was indicted last year on charges that he had sex with a female student during the 1997-98 school year.

He pleaded guilty in December to one count of sexual battery after cooperating with authorities.

Payne is the second Amelia High School teacher to be convicted for having improper conduct with students.

The first - Jeffrey Sears, 41, of Amelia - is serving a three-year prison term after pleading guilty in December to two counts of sexual battery involving two female students.

Sears, a former English teacher and coach, used to be Payne's roommate.

Last month, Robert Cann Jr., a former administrative assistant at Amelia, pleaded no contest to a charge of sexual battery for having sex with a female student in 1996.

Cann is scheduled to be sentenced next month and could face up to two years in prison.

Last month, another Amelia High School teacher was indicted on charges that he engaged in sex with a student.

James Eric Fouss, a 27-year-old algebra teacher, faces four counts of sexual battery for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old female student during the 1998-99 school year.

Fouss is scheduled to appear before Judge Ringland next month.

If convicted as charged, Fouss could be sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison.

E-mail mmccain@enquirer .com

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