April 13, 2021 19:14

Teacher gets two years for having intimate encounters with student at a park & her home

Source: Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office / Twitter

Cory Shaffer

cleveland.com

A judge Thursday sentenced a former Bedford High School teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two students to two years in prison.

Laura Dunker, 31, will spend five years after her release from prison on post-release control, and will be required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of her life.

Common Pleas Court Judge Joseph Russo imposed the sentence during a Thursday afternoon court hearing.

“Teachers are expected to be role models to their students and communities which they serve,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement after the hearing. “She took advantage of these students and now must face the consequences.”

Dunker pleaded guilty in November to two counts of sexual battery as part of a plea bargain that saw prosecutors drop four additional counts of sexual battery and a tampering with evidence charge. She faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Police arrested Dunker in December 2019, about a month after an assistant principal school alerted officers to accusations against Dunker, according to court records. Officers showed up with a search warrant at her house in Akron, and Dunker said she knew why they were there and invited them inside, records say.

She asked if she needed her attorney and the officers told her she was free to leave, records say. Dunker went on to admit that she had sexual contact with the boys, and that she would pick them up and either drive them to a park or bring them back to her home when her husband was not there, records say.

Court records do not reveal the boys’ ages.

Dunker also said she deleted “numerous items” from her cellphone after she learned of the investigation, records say.

Dunker is the second teacher at Bedford High School to plead guilty to sexual battery charges involving students in the last two years. Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg sentenced Sean Williams, the school’s former varsity football coach who admitted to sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl on multiple occasions, to six years in prison.

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