The Fifth District Court of Appeals has ruled against a former teacher currently serving a prison sentence after being convicted of more than 40 felonies, including several gross sexual imposition charges.
The court issued a ruling Thursday in the case of Matthew Rausenberg, 41, formerly of Columbus, who is currently incarcerated at the Lorain Correctional Institute serving his sentence after he 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 appeals court documents, the attorney handling Rausenberg’s appeal, Todd Workman, argued that the trial court erred several times during the case and those errors led to Rausenberg’s conviction.
Oral arguments were held on the matter before the court on Jan. 17 where both Workman and prosecutors argued their sides of the case. On March 23 the court submitted an opinion siding with Judge Gormley’s handling of the case and upheld the conviction.
According to Ohio law Rausenberg can file appeal the decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeals by appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court.
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 before making the girl rub the front of 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.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.