A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 27 in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for a former Whitehall City Schools supplemental employee who pleaded guilty to sexual battery and tampering with evidence.

According to common-pleas court records, Patrick B. McGregor II, 30, of Columbus pleaded guilty Aug. 12 to one count of sexual battery and one count of tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies.

McGregor is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl while he was employed as a drama instructor at Whitehall-Yearling High School.

The plea circumvented a trial that had been set to begin Aug. 28, according to records.

A Franklin County grand jury had indicted McGregor on four counts: two counts of sexual battery, a third-degree felony; one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second-degree felony; and one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

According to court records, McGregor, represented by attorney Brian Joslyn, withdrew a not-guilty plea and entered a plea of guilty to counts 1 and 4 of the indictment.

The maximum sentence for count 1, sexual battery, is five years; the maximum sentence for count 4, tampering with evidence, is three years. That makes the total potential maximum sentence eight years, according to court records.

McGregor would be declared a Tier III sex offender and subject to all registration requirements and residency restrictions, according to court records.

Westerville police arrested McGregor on Nov. 14, 2018.

He pleaded not guilty to all four charges returned by a Franklin County grand jury.

The first trial date was set for Feb. 4, continued to April 2 and then again to May 29, records show.

On May 29, the trial was continued to June 28.

The reason for that continuance was listed as “further investigation and negotiation” on a court document filed June 27.

On June 28, the trial was continued to July 30 and then continued again to Aug. 28.

However, prior to the trial scheduled to begin Aug. 28, court records show McGregor entered a guilty plea to two of the four counts in the indictment.

McGregor was terminated from Whitehall schools in September 2018.

According to Westerville police, McGregor and the 17-year-old girl allegedly had a sexual relationship “for several months,” beginning in May 2018.

On at least two occasions, according to Westerville police, McGregor had sexual contact with the minor at a Westerville residence.

Investigators examined the cellphone of the juvenile victim, finding evidence in the form of text messages and photos between McGregor and the minor, including nude photos of the girl requested by McGregor, police said.

McGregor is represented by Joslyn and Ryan Shafer of the Columbus-based Joslyn Law Firm, according to court records. Reached last week, Joslyn declined to comment on the case.

Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Kim Brown will sentence McGregor.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo