The trial of a former Olentangy Local Schools teacher accused of inappropriately touching students has been delayed.
Matthew D. Rausenberg, 40, of Columbus, had been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 9. It has not yet been rescheduled.
The trial was continued after Rausenberg filed a motion to obtain a new attorney Tuesday.
Rausenberg, formerly a third-grade teacher at Arrowhead Elementary, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court in front of Judge David Gormley Tuesday for what was originally scheduled to be a hearing on suppressing certain evidence.
However, at the hearing, Rausenberg’s attorney, Richard Mayhall of Springfield, said it would be best if Rausenberg sought new legal counsel and filed a motion to withdraw from the case.
“I’ve spoken to Mr. Rausenberg and he’s in agreement that new counsel would be appropriate at this time,” Mayhall said. Gormley asked if there had been a breakdown in their professional relationship and Mayhall said that would be a “fair” assessment.
Rausenberg then filed a motion, asking the court to release some of his frozen funds so he could retain a new attorney.
Gormley read the motion and said he would make a decision soon. He asked Rausenberg to fill out appropriate paperwork to have a public defender appointed to the case while the motion is being considered or in the event the motion is denied.
Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien said the prosecutor’s office would be filing a response to Rausenberg’s motion for releasing the frozen funds.
O’Brien said at Rausenberg’s arraignment that five alleged victims are listed on the grand-jury indictment but added that more victims were coming forward as the investigation progressed. Three others came forward after the grand jury heard testimony. O’Brien said three of the witnesses were under the age of 10.
Rausenberg was arrested March 16 by Delaware County sheriff’s deputies after a teenager reported that she had been sexually abused by Rausenberg while she was a student at Arrowhead Elementary.
After Rausenberg’s arrest, sheriff’s deputies and Columbus police searched Rausenberg’s home at 144 Maynard Ave. in Columbus, searching for video evidence of sexual abuse. Videos were found, according to authorities.
At his March 30 arraignment, Rausenberg entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him, which included 28 gross sexual imposition charges, two kidnapping charges and two charges of pandering sexually oriented material – all in connection with students he is alleged to have had inappropriate contact.
At Rausenberg’s arraignment, O’Brien said the trial would likely last a week. She also said she will personally prosecute the case.
Gormley continued Rausenberg’s $1 million bond that had been set in Delaware Municipal Court by Judge Marianne Hemmeter at Rausenberg’s initial appearance in March.
Rausenberg was still being held in the Delaware County Jail Tuesday afternoon.
O’Brien has said Rausenberg faces life in prison if he is convicted of all charges.
Rausenberg resigned from his position in the Olentangy Local School District after his arrest.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.
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