Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Medina 67°

Cops & Courts

Former Wadsworth High School teacher facing sex charge

  • Klafczynski-Benjamin-jpg

    Benjamin Klafczynski



MEDINA — A supplemental charge has been filed against a former Wadsworth High School teacher who allegedly obtained nude photographs of students last year.

A Medina County grand jury last week indicted Benjamin Klafczynski, 28, of Granger Township, on one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a second-degree felony, according to court documents.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Monday before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier.

Klafczynski also is facing one count of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, for allegedly having sexual contact with a female student between Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, according to court documents. A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 13 in Collier’s court.

The former teacher also is accused of having inappropriate conversations, via social media and telephone, with a female student, and allegedly exchanged photos with students via social media, according to his personnel file obtained by The Gazette.

Wadsworth police were notified in December after school officials became aware of the allegations between Klafczynski, a second-year marketing teacher, and a female student.

Klafczynski was placed on paid administrative leave before the Wadsworth Board of Education accepted his resignation Jan. 6.

If convicted, Klafczynski faces a mandatory prison sentence on the felony charges, and a penalty of up to 60 days in jail on the sexual imposition charge.

He posted $10,000 bond in April and was ordered to have no contact with the student.

Pleas and sentencings

The following people appeared in Medina County Common Pleas Court on Monday, according to the county prosecutor’s office:

  • Brandon Klopfenstein, 28, Hawk Ridge Road, Rittman, sentenced to five years of community control sanctions on one count of attempted identity fraud, a third-degree felony. He also was ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution.
  • Edward Panza Sr., 38, West 140th Street, Cleveland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years of community control sanctions, with a period of time in a community-based corrections facility, on one count of possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony.
  • David Parsons, 38, Boneta Road, Sharon Township, sentenced to five years of community control sanctions on one count of nonsupport of dependents, a fifth-degree felony.
  • Joseph Phillips, 45, Home Avenue, Akron, sentenced to five years of community control sanctions on one count of nonsupport of dependents, a fourth-degree felony.
  • John Caputa III, 37, Florida, pleaded not guilty to two counts of nonsupport of dependents, fifth-degree felonies. A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 31.
  • Aaron Thomas, 30, Monterey Drive, Medina Township, pleaded not guilty to one count of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a fourth-degree felony. A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 29.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.

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