The trial for a former Arrowhead Elementary School teacher accused of touching students has been continued to January.
Matthew Rausenberg, 40, a former Olentangy Local Schools teacher, was in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Friday for a hearing for a motion asking for a continuance.
Rausenberg’s Public Defender, Thomas Waldeck, filed the motion Wednesday, asking Judge David Gormley to continue the trial because Waldeck had been appointed to the case at the end of August and has not had time to adequately prepare for a trial.
Judge Gormley granted the motion Friday and set a trial date of Jan. 19 to give Waldeck time to prepare and to avoid having the victims testify near the holidays. Rausenberg was original scheduled for a trial on Oct. 6.
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.
Rausenberg was in the Delaware County Jail Friday afternoon.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG