LIMA — A former Shawnee High School teacher effectively saw his classroom career come to an end Tuesday morning when he pleaded guilty to four felony charges related to his improper sexual relationship with a young female student.
Kyle Baker, 28, of Lima, accepted a deal from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to three counts of sexual battery and one count of tampering with evidence, all third-degree felonies, in exchange for the state’s dismissal of seven remaining felony counts. He will be sentenced in Allen County Common Pleas Court on July 24.
The sexual battery charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. By pleading guilty to those charges, Baker will be classified as a Tier 3 sex offender and will be required to register with the sheriff of the county in which he lives every 90 days for life.
The tampering with evidence charge against Baker — which carries a maximum prison term of three years — resulted from a jailhouse plot hatched between the former Shawnee teacher and another inmate in the Allen County Jail. In February it came to light that Baker attempted to coordinate with fellow inmate Todd Neu to send messages to Baker’s alleged victim through Neu’s son. Baker reportedly wanted to coach his victim in making her statements to law enforcement officials.
The initial charges against Baker stemmed from the former teacher’s alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. Baker was charged in late December of last year with a single count of sexual battery after a Shawnee Township Police Department officer observed Baker and the female together in Baker’s vehicle.
Police had received a tip that Baker was having an improper relationship with the student. He was arrested a few days before Christmas. He was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave by Shawnee schools, Superintendent James Kanable said at the time. Baker later resigned, effective Jan. 24.
An Allen County grand jury subsequently indicted Baker on the remaining felony counts.
With his guilty pleas Tuesday to felony charges, Baker’s teaching certification will be permanently revoked by the Ohio Department of Education.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.