Ex-EHOVE chef pleads guilty to consensual sex with student, 17

Cary Ashby • Apr 29, 2014 at 10:58 PM

A former EHOVE Career Center teacher has been convicted of having sex multiple times with a 17-year-old female student.

Michael A. Edwards, 47, of Huron, has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery, all of which are third-degree felonies.

"The maximum allowable sentence on (third-degree felonies) is 15 years -- five on each count," Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.

The prosecutor said the state hasn't made a sentencing recommendation, but will defer to the wishes of the victim and her mother.

"The indication is she feels victimized throughout this whole process," Baxter added.

Edwards will be classified as a Tier III sex offender. He will be sentenced June 10 in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

"He will have a lifetime registration as a sex offender," Baxter said.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the three felonies April 17 on a bill of information. That means Edwards agreed to be convicted without having his case presented to a grand jury for indictment.

Edwards was convicted of offenses from Aug. 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013. According to the Erie County Sheriff's Office, he and the girl had consensual sex multiple times at various locations in Erie County, including Sandusky, Huron, Milan Township and in his family's Wickford Place residence.

"Detectives had received information there was an ongoing sexual relationship with the student," Chief Deputy Jared Oliver told the Reflector earlier. "Detectives determined there was probable cause after a preliminary investigation and arrested Edwards on the sexual battery charge, which is a felony of the third degree."

Baxter said Friday the defendant and victim had a "significant" amount of encounters which led to Edwards pleading guilty to the bill of information.

"We did check if there were other victims and we did not find any," the prosecutor said.

Detective Sgt. Dennis Papineau has said there was a second juvenile girl whom Edwards pursued through sexually suggestive text messages during the 2012-2013 school year, but the girl declined his advances.

Edwards was arrested at his residence Nov. 14. He was transported to the Erie County Jail, where he later posted 10 percent of a $15,000 bond.

EHOVE Superintendent Sharon Mastroianni earlier told the Reflector she knew the arrest was coming.

"The school actually tipped off the authorities," she said. "Information came to us. It's devastating news when the teacher/student trust has been broken."

Papineau said the relationship between Edwards and the victim began with texting, escalated into the physical realm and was consensual.

"I don't believe he's working anymore," Baxter said about Edwards. "He is residing with his parents out of state."

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