Columbus police are reaching out to the Reynoldsburg school community for "relevant information" about a former teacher who was indicted on felony charges of having sex with a minor.
Ryan Collopy, 33, of Ormiston Court in Reynoldsburg, taught math in the Reynoldsburg district before he resigned last April. The reported 15-year-old girl victim is from Columbus.
The incidents allegedly occurred in April and May 2013.
Collopy pleaded not guilty in Fairfield County Common Pleas Court to charges of unlawful conduct with a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and illegal use of nudity-oriented material or performance involving a minor. He was indicted by a Fairfield County grand jury March 7.
"Mr. Collopy has never had any criminal charges against him and as far as I know, has never even gotten a traffic ticket," his lawyer, defense attorney Brian Joslynn, said. "They've got a long ways to go before they can actually convict him."
Collopy is being held in the Fairfield County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. A hearing to attempt to reduce the bond was scheduled for this morning, April 17.
Edward Johnson, coordinator of safety and security for Reynoldsburg schools, sent a letter to parents last week, telling them of the indictment and the request for information from Columbus police.
"While the indictment does not involve Reynoldsburg students, Columbus police detectives are interested in relevant information that Reynoldsburg families might be able to provide," Johnson wrote in the letter, dated April 9.
"They are requesting any specific information about potentially criminal activity not previously reported to the district or police."
Detective Paul Siniff is investigating the case and can be reached at 614-645-2379.
Columbus police said Collopy engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Columbus girl and gave her an iPod so she could take nude photos of herself to send to him. Detectives said they have found evidence indicating other possible victims on Collopy's cellphone and computer, but have not been able to identify them.
District Director of Communications Tricia Moore said Collopy taught math at Reynoldsburg High School from 2005 to 2010 and at Waggoner Road Junior High School from 2010 to April 2013.
She said a group of Reynoldsburg students did complain that Collopy was chatting online with a girlfriend during class. The district was investigating that complaint when Collopy abruptly resigned, she said.
"The investigation was reported to the Ohio Department of Education, as required when an educator resigns while under investigation," she said.
One other complaint was lodged against him in his first year of teaching at Reynoldsburg High School in 2005, when a student claimed he had brushed against her "inappropriately" in class, Moore said. Collopy denied the allegation.
"The 2005 complaint was investigated by the district, Reynoldsburg police and Licking County Children Services," she said. "It could not be corroborated, despite it allegedly occurred in the presence of nearly 30 other people.
"At the time, the complainant's family pursued civil remedies, so the investigations and conclusions were vetted by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the oversight board of Ohio's Victims Compensation Fund and a civil court judge," she said.