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Ex-Miamisburg teacher made 'odd' requests of teen in sex case

By Nick Blizzard • Apr 11, 2018 at 1:51 PM

The classroom of the former Miamisburg teacher accused of having sex with a student was locked when the principal tried to open it on the day the alleged crimes occurred, according to court testimony.

But Miamisburg Middle School Principal Kelly Thomas said — when filing an initial report on the May 23, 2017, incident — she failed to state the door to Jessica Langford's classroom was locked.

"I just didn't put it in there," Kelly told jurors on the first day of trial for Langford, a 32-year-old veteran teacher in the Miamisburg district.

Langford, of Centerville, resigned that week, according to school district records. She was indicted in November on three counts of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been free on her own recognizance.

Kelly was one of three MMS staff members to testify Tuesday about Langford's actions with the student, a 14-year-old eighth-grader prosecutors described as an "athletic stud" that the defendant "sought out."

Court records show the alleged victim is now 15 years old.

The teen did not have Langford as a teacher, but the two exchanged cell phone messages the prior weekend during a school field trip to Washington, D.C., prosecutors said.

MMS French teacher Bryn Tidwell, who had the alleged victim in her class, said during the last days of the school year Langford asked if the teen could come over to the defendant's classroom.

Later, Tidwell said, Langford asked her if she could make the teen available for a kickball session Langford had planned.

Tidwell said she found Langford's requests "odd."

MMS social studies teacher Kevin Osborne told jurors earlier on May 23 he saw Langford enter the building with the teen prior to the school day and relayed the information to Kelly because it was out of the ordinary.

But Langford's attorney said his client isn't guilty of the six sex charges against her -- and said the alleged victim repeatedly said the incident never occurred.

Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Bryan Moore said the 14-year-old student hid in Langford's classroom last May 23, the day he said the teen and Langford, 32, had oral sex and intercourse there.

"Jessica Langford sought him out," Moore told the jury during opening statements on the first day of Langford's trial.

Moore referred to the boy as "the guy that every guy wanted to be."

After talking with Osborne, Thomas said she then went to Langford's classroom.

Thomas said she saw the lights out and found the door locked. The principal said she turned the knob and Langford opened it seconds later.

Thomas testified that she asked Langford about where the student was, and the defendant said she did not know. She then said she questioned Langford in the principal's office about being with a student alone with the door locked in her classroom.

Thomas said a surveillance video she watched later that day showed the student did not exit Langford's classroom until after Langford returned to it.

"He came out of the classroom after she came back to the classroom," said Thomas, the third MMS staff member to testify Tuesday.

Defense attorney Lawrence Greger said the teen told several people he never had sex with Langford.

"It never happened," Greger told the jury the teen told his girlfriend.

"I didn't do......anything with her," Greger said the teen told his girlfriend.

The alleged victim told Thomas and other administrators he and Langford did not have sex.

More than 70 potential jurors showed up Tuesday morning after Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O'Connell said a larger pool of prospective jurors would be called.

It took more than two hours to seat the jury for The case is scheduled through Friday, court officials said.

The state's witness list now includes three minors. Two of those are among the four listed on the defense's witness list. Court records show all of the juveniles listed by initials only.

Langford earlier sought to have the court identify her accuser by name. But the judge rejected that request.

On Friday, O'Connell also ruled against the defense's attempt to get a photograph of the accuser admitted into evidence, calling the image "not relevant," according to court records.

Prosecutors said the character evidence "shows the minor victim, along with two unidentified females who appear to be minors as well" in what is apparently a photo from social media, court records show.

The defense "seeks to introduce the photograph as evidence for the improper purpose of attacking the victim's character.

"The individuals in the photograph are not depicted in any type of sexual act," according to the prosecution's motion. "The photograph, however, depicts the individuals dressed in attire that may not be considered appropriate by some members of the community."

Langford was hired as a student teacher in the Miamisburg district in 2006 and served in a similar capacity in Dayton Public Schools, records show.

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(c)2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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