(CBS/AP) LEBANON, Ohio - Stacy Schuler, the 32-year-old school health and gym teacher in southwest Ohio accused of having sex with students, including some football players, is changing her not-guilty plea this week to not guilty by reason of insanity.
The Middletown Journal News reports the motion to change the "not guilty" plea that 33 year old Stacy Schuler of Springboro entered earlier this year was filed late Monday afternoon with the Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Her lawyer, Charles Rittgers, tells the paper the plea change was not a defense tactic. "It's something I believe to be true," he said. Rittgers said Schuler will now have to be examined by one or more psychologists or psychiatrists.
Her defense team claims she was taken advantage of by the teens due to an impairment that made her unable to protect herself.
"It has come to light that during the period of the alleged misconduct, Stacy Schuler had become impaired and thereby unable to prevent the young men from taking advantage of her," said a statement released Wednesday afternoon by father-and-son attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers. "In the fall of 2010, the young men involved in this case traveled across the county in order to take advantage of her impairment."
The statement did not specify what the alleged impairment was.
Online court records show Schuler, of Springboro, faces 16 felony counts of sexual battery involving a student and three misdemeanor counts of providing alcohol to someone who is underage.
Schuler resigned at Mason High School in February after her arrest earlier this year. She was a teacher and athletic trainer at the school since 2000 and had been on paid leave since Jan. 18, the week after an anonymous tip triggered the school's investigation.
Chief assistant Warren County prosecutor Bruce McGary said investigators believe Schuler had sexual contact with male students five times last year between August and December, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer, which reports some of the students were football players.
According to CBS affiliate WKRC, prosecutors say the students gave specific details about Schuler's home and told Mason police that all of the alleged sexual encounters occurred in her master bedroom and bathroom.
McGary said none of the alleged incidents occurred on school grounds.
Schuler was released from jail in February on the condition that she wear an electronic monitoring device and have no contact with unrelated minors or high school students. WKRC reports that the teacher denies all the allegations.
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