The Columbus Dispatch

Teacher charged with having sex with ex-student

- Michael Lee

A South-western middle school teacher and coach was arrested Wednesday for allegedly having sex with a former student over five years.

According to a criminal complaint, a student told police that her teacher Benjamin Rutan, 40, of Grove City, started having sex with her in June 2013, when she was 14 years old. The relationsh­ip continued until she was 19.

Rutan was the student’s eighth grade language arts teacher as well as track and basketball coach at Norton Middle

School in the South-western City School District when the alleged misconduct began, according to Franklin County Municipal Court documents.

The student told police the sexual contact occurred a few times a week at the school, in the parking lot, the teacher’s classroom and his coach’s office, according to the documents. She had been helping out with the school’s football team in the summer of 2013,

The records state that the former student first contacted authoritie­s on Nov. 17 and was given a recording device by the Franklin County Sheriff’s office on Dec. 2. She then contacted Rutan and recorded “several admissions about their relationsh­ip between 2013 and 2018.

Rutan was arrested by deputies Wednesday and is charged with two counts of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

In a statement, South-western City schools announced it has put Rutan on administra­tive leave, pending investigat­ion.

“The safety and security of our students are our top priority,” Superinten­dent Bill Wise wrote. “We will continue to work through our disciplina­ry and legal processes regarding this matter.” Mylee@dispatch.com @leem386

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