Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
By Janie Southard
Charges dismissed against St. Marys teacher
  The court case against a long-time St. Marys teacher charged with public indecency and voyeurism has been dismissed.
The case against Tom Elsass, 55, was dismissed Tuesday for lack of evidence at the request of the Allen County prosecutor. A trial had been set for Feb. 18 in Lima Municipal Court.
The St. Marys board of education suspended Elsass, a 35-year teacher, without pay following an incident Sept. 3, 2009, and his not guilty plea to charges of public indecency, a second degree misdemeanor, and voyeurism, a third degree misdemeanor.
He allegedly was seen touching himself inappropriately while looking at a group of girls outside Elida High School in Lima, where a girls volleyball match between St. Marys and Elida was in progress. Elsass was at the school for the game.
According to the Allen County Sheriff's report, Elsass was observed by a 50-year-old Lima resident and his 6-year-old daughter. The report states the resident claimed to have witnessed the alleged incident from his van at 8:15 p.m.
Reportedly, the adult witness's credibility was found to be questionable. The child's age also was reported to be a factor.
Elsass stated to the sheriff's deputy that he had a stain on the front of his shorts and tried to wipe it off by brushing the inside and outside of his shorts.
St. Marys City Schools board of education President Rees McKee said this morning the board is awaiting outcome on a hearing with the Ohio Department of Education scheduled for March before any action is taken.
"(ODE) didn't want to go ahead with the hearing until the trial concluded," McKee said.
Elsass is represented by Columbus attorney Jonathan Tyack, who was unavailable for comment at press time. Also unavailable was St. Marys Superintendent Mary Riepenhoff.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Electric rates may increase
• Committee working on bringing back ag classes
• Rockford business being investigated for lottery sales
• Costly projects planned for 2010
• Spare parts put to use
• Photo studio, gallery opens downtown
• Wildcats do enough to defeat rival Cardinals
• Celina girls lose for the third straight time
a_d
Today
82°
Thunderstorms Likely
75%
Tonight
56°
Thunderstorms
86%
Tomorrow
62°
Rain Showers Likely
70%
Tomorrow Night
48°
Chance Rain Showers
33%
Monday
65°
Mostly Cloudy
9%
Monday Night
54°
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday
77°
Mostly Sunny
Tuesday Night
58°
Mostly Clear
Wednesday
80°
Mostly Sunny
Wednesday Night
59°
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
84°
Partly Sunny
13%
Thursday Night
66°
Partly Cloudy
14%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d