Created on Thursday, 31 October 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
One after the other, the prosecution’s witnesses took the stand Wednesday to recount alleged sexual encounters with John Shook dating back to 2005 when he was a band director at Covington High School in Miami County.
Five in all, the alleged victims included three girls from Riverside High School and two women, now in the mid-20s, who graduated from Covington.
Mr. Shook, 35, a former band and choral director at Riverside, is on trial only for the allegations raised by the Riverside students.
He is accused of six counts of sexual battery, two counts of attempted sexual battery and five counts of gross sexual imposition.
Wednesday’s testimony started with the three Riverside students. Each was soft spoken as incidents of fondling were recounted.
Uncomfortable in the Logan County Common Pleas Court, one victim made a point of turning away from the accused and stared past the jury to her father in the gallery, her hands stuffed into the pocket of a Riverside High School hoodie.
Another 15-year-old victim sat on her hands but later aimlessly twirled her necklace pendant as she graciously answered questions.
Both girls testified they have been in counseling since coming forward with allegations the former director fondled them.
They say they also have faced ridicule and harassment since coming forward.
“I knew no one would believe me,” one girl said, explaining why she waited more than six months to tell. “And if they did believe me, they’d hate me.
“I’ve lost a lot of friends since March.”
“Things went crappy,” the other 15-year-old said as she stared ahead. “People started talking about me and saying rude things. I was being made fun of.
“It got so bad I couldn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria and I was forced to eat in a separate room.”
The eldest of the Riverside victims graduated this past year and she told prosecutors she and the defendant had sexual intercourse “many times” starting during the 2011-12 school.
She said the encounters occurred in his school office; in instrument closets in the bandroom; in a janitor’s supply closet; a teacher’s restroom; and at his home nearly every time she babysat while his wife was away at work.
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