Former Chillicothe High School principal resigns amid sexual battery charges
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- The once-prominent principal at Chillicothe High School has resigned from the school district months after he was accused of having sex with two former students.
Jeffrey Fisher, who was the state principal of the year in 2015, was indicted on seven counts of sexual battery in November. He was moved to a different administrative role in January 2017 before being suspended after the charges came to light and reported to the Ohio Board of Education.
The investigation started after an August 16 meeting between Chillicothe school officials and the South Central Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. In that meeting, district officials reported they had received allegations Fisher had sex with students. The Chillicothe Police investigation started the same day.
Fisher's attorney, Rex H. Elliott, released a statement on Fisher's behalf Thursday night.
In it, he said Fisher stepped down because he didn't want to his ongoing legal battle to be a further distraction to the district.
"In the near term, Jeff intends to focus all of his time and attention to his family and defending his character and innocence in the criminal trial," the statement read.
While the charges were filed in November, the allegations date back to 2012, which Elliott said the Ohio Department of Education and School District investigated and subsequently cleared him. The release also claims both young women the charges involve previously denied any relationship when questioned and at least one of the accusers fabricated evidence.
If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 35 years in prison.