Ex-teacher admits to lesser charges in sex case, avoids jail

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — A former central Ohio special-education teacher accused of sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls has been sentenced to serve five years of probation after admitting to reduced charges of endangering children.

Judd Ellinger pleaded guilty under a deal Tuesday in Lancaster. He had faced felony charges of having unlawful sexual conduct with the girls.

The 26-year-old Lancaster man had been a teacher at Bremen Elementary School. He was arrested last year after the girls said they had sex with him.

Court records show he partly admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with one teen. The alleged incidents happened between July and October.

Ellinger must receive sex-offender counseling and perform 200 hours of community service. He has agreed to permanently surrender his teaching license.

Ellinger declined to speak at his sentencing.