School leader charged with child rape appeals unpaid leave

Patrick O'Donnell

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school superintendent charged in the alleged sexual assault of a girl younger than 13 is appealing his district’s decision to put him on unpaid leave.

Patrick O’Donnell, of Lewistown, is expected to get a public hearing with the Indian Lake Schools board in Logan County once the Ohio Department of Education provides the required referee for it.

The 52-year-old O’Donnell has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition. A court affidavit says the girl alleged that O’Donnell touched her inappropriately and his wife failed to report the allegations to police.

READ MORE: Two Ohio school superintendents indicted in child rape case

His wife pleaded not guilty to child endangering charges. She also is a superintendent, at the Midwest Regional Education Services Center in Bellefontaine.

The O’Donnells’ attorney has said they’re innocent.

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