A former Mason High School teacher convicted of having sex with students could soon walk out of prison if a Warren County judge grants her petition for early release.
Stacy Schuler, 34, was convicted of 19 charges last October: 16 felony counts of sexual battery plus three misdemeanor counts of providing alcohol to minors.
A hearing on her release is set for Friday, Nov. 9.
During the trial, Schuler, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, claimed she didn’t remember the sex crimes because of a host of medical and psychological problems that were exacerbated by her use of Zoloft and copious amounts of alcohol. Schuler had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Warren County Common Pleas Judge Robert Peeler said he believes Schuler suffers from mental health and substance abuse issues, but rejected her insanity defense.
He sentenced Schuler to 48 months in prison, but said she would be eligible for judicial release, also known as “shock probation, which is an option for some Ohio offenders, in six months.
Schuler asked the judge to grant early release in May, after serving seven months of a four year sentence.
Peeler held an in-chambers hearing on the petition on July 12 and ordered additional psychological testing before he would consider her request for early release.
Schuler’s attorney, Charlie H. Rittgers, said his client is a model prisoner at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.
The former health and physical education teacher leads yoga and general education classes for her fellow prisoners, is undergoing mental health treatment for bipolar disorder and participates in a group for sex offenders.
Schuler and 62 other people wrote letters that Schuler’s attorney filed in support of her motion for judicial release in July. “The letters go on and on…even while incarcerated, Stacy continues to help others,” Rittgers wrote.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he would continue to fight to keep Schuler locked up.
“To release her after only one year demeans the seriousness of the offenses, and would send a bad message to others who might commit similar offenses,” he said. “Ms. Schuler was already given a break when she was sentenced to only four years. The public interest is best served by requiring her to fully serve the sentence that was imposed.”