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A former Ohio softball coach and teacher’s aide could spend nearly a decade in prison after admitting to having sexual relations with a teenage student.
Ashley Ra-Nae Rison, 31, pleaded guilty to sexual battery and two counts of gross sexual imposition on Oct. 11, according to court records obtained by Oxygen.com.
According to prosecutors, the victim was a 17-year-old junior softball player at New Miami High School in Butler County — roughly 30 miles north of Cincinnati — where Rison was employed.
Rison was originally charged with eight counts of sexual battery, evidence tampering and furnishing alcohol to a minor, according to a separate case indictment. Those charges were dismissed by prosecutors in favor of a plea deal.
Officials say Rison had sex with the underage victim on at least eight occasions in April 2021. The allegations were reported to authorities the following month.
Prior to Rison’s arrest, she reportedly pleaded with the juvenile to not report her conduct to law enforcement, according to a recording of the alleged exchange cited by prosecutors.
"In addition to what the child tells us, we do have recordings between Ms. Rison and the child of where Ms. Rison makes multiple incriminating statements in asking, begging the child not to report her to the authorities," Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Lindsay Sheehan previously stated in court, Fox affiliate WXIX-TV reported.
According to prosecutors, there had only been one victim in the case. Rison was indicted in January 2022.
“We are not alleging a rape by force,” Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser also said.
Rison, who resigned following her arrest, was first hired by the school district in 2015, officials said. She coached girls softball and basketball and also worked as a teacher’s aide.
“Ashley Ra-Nae Rison is no longer employed by the New Miami Local School,” Board,” Superintendent Rhonda Parker told WXIX at the time. “Effective May 3, 2021, Ms. Rison resigned from her position as Paraprofessional and Coach. New Miami Local Schools has no further comment at this time.”
A district spokesperson for New Miami High School didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment following Rison’s guilty plea on Monday morning.
Rison is being held at a Butler County detention facility pending her sentencing on Nov. 16. She faces a maximum of eight years behind bars. Following her release, Rison will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender. Oxygen.com has also reached out to Rison’s attorney, Scott D. Kruger, for comment.
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