Teachers accused of touching students ask to have trials postponed


Two former Delaware County teachers accused of sexual misconduct with students are scheduled to go on trial next week, but one is still hoping to have his trial delayed.

The trials for Matthew Rausenberg, 40, a former Olentangy Local Schools teacher, and Freddy Leon Wilson, 62, a former chess instructor at the Prep Academy School’s Polaris campus, are scheduled for next Tuesday.

Attorneys for both men filed motions to have their trials continued, but Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger on Thursday rejected Wilson’s request for a continuance.

Meanwhile, former Arrowhead Elementary teacher Rausenberg, of 144 E. Maynard Ave., Columbus, is scheduled to appear in Delaware County Common Pleas Court this morning for a hearing after his attorney, Thomas Waldeck, filed a motion to continue the trial.

Waldeck stated in the motion that he was appointed to the case on Aug. 28 after Rausenberg’s previous attorney, Richard Mayhall, withdrew from the case. Waldeck said he has not had time to review all of the evidence in the case to adequately prepare for trial.

Rausenberg faces a total of 34 charges of gross sexual imposition, five charges of kidnapping and three charges of pandering sexually oriented material. Rausenberg is accused of inappropriately touching several elementary-age female students over several years.

Rausenberg initially was facing 28 gross sexual imposition charges, two kidnapping charges and two charges of pandering sexually oriented material – all in connection with accusations from five former students. The kidnapping charges are related to times that Rausenberg allegedly restrained students.

Rausenberg was re-indicted Aug. 21 by a Delaware County grand jury. Prosecutors say four more alleged victims have come forward to allege sexual misconduct since he was originally indicted in March.

Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien, who has said she will personally prosecute the case against Rausenberg, says Rausenberg faces life in prison if he is convicted of all charges.

Rausenberg has reportedly rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors so that alleged victims would not have to testify in court.

In the other case, Wilson, of 2785 Castlewood Road, Columbus, filed a motion Monday through his attorney, Diane M. Menashe, asking that Krueger continue his trial to a later date. Wilson also is scheduled to go on trial Tuesday.

Menashe said she was brought on the case in mid-June, weeks after Wilson was indicted on April 29, and noted that Wilson was re-indicted on July 17 on an additional charge of gross sexual imposition. Menashe said she has a “very full felony trial schedule” and has not had the time to prepare for the trial. Menashe added that the additional time would be helpful in pursuing plea negotiations.

However, Krueger denied the motion Wednesday, stating Menashe had ample time to prepare and her busy schedule would not allow a trial until 2016. Wilson is still scheduled for trial Tuesday.

Wilson currently faces three counts of gross sexual imposition. Prosecutors say Wilson touched two students inappropriately during lessons.

Wilson was originally indicted on two counts of gross sexual imposition on April 29 for the charges relating to one student but was re-indicted on July 17 on a third gross sexual imposition charge after another student came forward. The first crime is alleged to have occurred in Delaware County and the second crime is said to have occurred in Franklin County.

Wilson is out of jail on bond. Rausenberg was still being held in the county jail Thursday afternoon.

Rausenberg resigned from his position in the Olentangy Local School District after his arrest.

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, searching for video evidence of sexual abuse. Videos were found, according to authorities.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/10/web1_Leon-Wilson.jpgWilson Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/10/web1_Rausenberg-mug.jpgRausenberg Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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