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NEW PHILADELPHIA -- The former Newcomerstown teacher accused of engaging sexual acts with a high school student was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison earlier this week during a hearing in the Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.
The prison sentence for Jodi A. Kellish, 38, of Dover, was handed down by Judge Elizabeth Thomakos on Monday, Jan. 7.
Kellish was convicted on Oct. 29 of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a child, a first-degree misdemeanor, after entering negotiated "no contest" pleas to the offenses.
"Many of the witnesses were teenage children and as such a negotiated plea was reached so the children would not have to testify in open court," said Guernsey County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Padden, who was assigned to handle the prosecution due to a conflict of interest in Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer's office.
Kellish was also sentenced to six months incarceration on the misdemeanor conviction. The sentence will be served concurrently to the 18-month prison sentence.
The judge determined Kellish is a Tier II sex offender. As a result, she was ordered to register as a sex offender every 180 days for the next 25 years.
The allegations regarding Kellish began circulating early last winter when it was alleged she provided alcohol and cigarettes to Newcomerstown High School students at her home and elsewhere, including school grounds.
Upon investigation, Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Capt. Orvis Campbell uncovered the sexual relationship between Kellish and a high school student.
Kellish was indicted by a Tuscarawas County grand jury on three counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, first-degree misdemeanors. She faced more than 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
The third-degree felonies and the second misdemeanor offense were dismissed at the sentencing hearing.
Kellish was previously employed by the Newcomerstown School District as a third grade teacher at West Elementary School.