Appeals hearing set for convicted teacher


An oral hearing has been scheduled in the appeals court case of former Olentangy school teacher Matthew Rausenberg after his conviction for 41 charges in January.

Matthew Rausenberg, 41, formerly of Columbus, is currently incarcerated at the Lorain Correctional Institute serving his sentence but is still in the process of appealing the verdict of the case, according to court documents.

The appeal was filed after Rausenberg was found guilty of 34 counts of gross sexual imposition, which are third-degree felonies; four counts of kidnapping, first-degree felonies; and three counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, which are second-degree felonies, by a Delaware County Common Pleas Court jury on Jan. 25 and sentenced to 106 years to life in prison on Jan. 28 by Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge David Gormley.

According to court documents, oral arguments for the appeal have been scheduled for Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Richland County Courthouse in Mansfield.

Rausenberg was originally indicted on March 26, 2015 and was originally charged with 32 felony charges, but was indicted again on Aug. 21 and charged with 34 counts of gross sexual imposition, five counts of kidnapping and three counts of pandering sexually-oriented material for charges related to nine victims.

The criminal trial began on Jan. 19 and, over the course of four days, prosecutors called 25 witnesses, including nine victims and many of their parents, to testify. The defense called only two witnesses.

Rausenberg did not testify in his defense.

Many of Rausenberg’s victims and their family members testified that Rausenberg favored female students and gave them special treatment. The victims testified that Rausenberg would put them on his lap and have them read to him. However, the victims testified that he would rub their legs and inner thighs with his hands.

Prosecutors also showed a video that depicted Rausenberg touching a 7-year-old second-grader’s thighs, buttocks and crotch before making the girl rub the front his pants. Rausenberg and members of the jury were visibly upset while the video was shown.

He resigned his teaching job at Arrowhead Elementary School after his March 2015 arrest.

Additionally, after Rausenberg was sentenced, the families of three of the victims filed a civil suit against Rausenberg, Olentangy Local Schools and several school officials, asking for more than $25,000 from each of the plantiffs. However, the civil suit was dismissed in July. Olentangy School officials told the Gazette in July that the dismissal was not a result of a settlement.

Matthew Rausenberg (right) sits with his attorney, Thomas Waldeck, during the trial in January. Rausenberg (right) sits with his attorney, Thomas Waldeck, during the trial in January.

By Glenn Battishill

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

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