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Ex-Substitute Teacher Guilty of Sex with Boy Denied Early Release from Prison

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Mary E. Schnell, 26-year-old former substitute teacher with the Aurora School District in Aurora, Ohio, who was sentenced  to prison for two years in May 2012 has been denied early release from prison.

Mary Shcnell, female sex offender guilty of sex with teen boy
Schnell was arrested in July 2011 and was indicted on  charges of two counts of felony sexual battery for engaging in inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old male student. To avoid her trial scheduled for January 2012, Schnell pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree felony sexual battery before Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman. According to her plea deal, second charge was dismissed.

Schnell was accused of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old Aurora High School student on at least two occasions from May 1, 2011 to June 9, 2011. The relationship was initially discovered by Streetsboro Police during surveillance of a hotel parking lot along State Route 14 and 303, near the Ohio Turnpike. An investigation started after Schnell and the student were found in a car talking. The further investigation by authorities discovered that Schnell and the 16-year-old engaged in sexual activity in the parking lot of a bar in Mantua Township.

Schnell's Defense attorney George Keith said his client has served 10 months of a 24-month sentence and that she "immediately confessed" the illegal sexual relationship took place in May and June 2011 when confronted by sheriff's investigators. Schnell told Judge Pittman prison has given her "ample time to process the unruliness of my actions" and the "complete disregard for (the victim's) emotions." She also said she "inflicted trauma on an innocent person," was "immensely sorry" for the "malevolence of my past choices" and wants the chance to "remake myself as someone who makes good choices."

Judge Pittman denied judicial release for  Schnell,  after a brief hearing, telling her she "took a part of the innocence" of both her victim -- in 2011 -- and the community of Aurora by having sexual relations with him. "I have to show that our courts will not tolerate this behavior from a man or a woman". 

Assistant County Prosecutor Steve Michniak said his office did not object to Schnell's release, and asked Pittman to place her on intensive probation and suspend the remainding prison term so that she would be ordered to serve the complete term if she re-offended or violated probation.

In her sentencing in May 2012, in addition to prison, Pittman ordered Schnell to permanently surrender her teaching license and have no contact with the victim in the case. Schnell also was labeled a Tier III sex offender, and must register her address with her local sheriff's office every 90 days for the rest of her life upon release from prison. Her neighbors and local schools, daycare facilities and other police agencies also may be notified of her release and location, according to the law.

Schnell's scheduled release date from her prison sentence is May 2014.


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