MASON COUNTY — A substitute teacher hired by the Mason County Board of Education has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or person in a position of trust to a child.
James P. Hadinger, 43, Gallipolis Ferry, was arrested and charged Thursday after an investigation by the Mason County Sheriff’s Department. Hadinger appeared before Mason County Magistrate Gail Roush, also on Thursday, who set his bond at $200,000 — $100,000 for each count. He was then transported to the Western Regional Jail where, as of press time Friday, he remained.
The criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court alleges Hadinger, who has been a substitute teacher at Hannan Junior/Senior High School over the last several weeks, became involved with a female student. On Feb. 12, the complaint states Hadinger and the minor met at a local grocery store where the minor got into his truck, and the two traveled to Hannan Junior/Senior High School to watch a basketball game.
Hadinger and the minor then reportedly left the game early with Hadinger driving to an abandoned house on Ball Chapel Rd. in Ashton where Hadinger engaged in sexual contact with the minor, according to the complaint.
Deputy R. D. Spencer, who is also the Prevention Resource Officer at Hannan Junior/Senior High School, is investigating the case and filed the criminal complaint. A written confession was reportedly obtained from Hadinger, according to the complaint, though it should be noted he has not yet had a preliminary hearing at this point and has not entered a formal plea to the charges.
According to previous agendas and meeting minutes on the Mason County Board of Education’s website, Hadinger’s employment as a substitute teacher for the 2012-13 school year was approved on July 24, 2012. Hadinger was also approved on Nov. 13, 2012, as the seventh grade girls’ basketball coach, at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School for the 2012-13 school year.
Mason County Schools Superintendent Suzanne Dickens spoke with the Point Pleasant Register on Friday and released no further information on the board’s position or any action that will be taking place regarding Hadinger’s employment. Dickens noted when such information becomes available, it would first be released to the Point Pleasant Register.
Following Thursday’s board meeting, Dickens released the following statement on the incident:
“Confidentiality requirements prevent me from commenting upon or discussing any allegations of employee misconduct. In the event disciplinary action is taken against an employee by the Board, further information will be disclosed. However, I can say that anytime the district is confronted with allegations relating to the safety and welfare of students, the allegations are taken seriously, thoroughly investigated and that measures are taken to ensure that students are safe and not exposed to any continuing risk of harm.”
The Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is also working on this case.