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Details emerge in case against ex-Wadsworth teacher

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A former Wadsworth High School teacher “is alleged to have had inappropriate conversations, via social media and telephone, with a female student.”

Benjamin Klafczynski also allegedly exchanged photos with students via social media.

Details of the allegations against Klafczynski, 28, are included in a 109-page personnel file obtained by The Gazette from school officials this week.

Klafczynski, of the 4000 block of Beach Road in Granger Township, pleaded not guilty Monday in Medina Common Pleas Court to a charge of one count of tampering with evidence. A conviction in the third-degree felony could result in up to five years in prison.

On Tuesday, Klafczynski was indicted on a sexual imposition count, a third-degree misdemeanor, on which a conviction could bring up to 60 days in jail. His arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 1. The indictment states he is to have no contact with the victim.

Wadsworth Police Chief Randy Reinke said Monday that a criminal investigation began Dec. 5 and is still “technically open.” Reinke said he could not comment on details.

Klafczynski was arrested April 13. He was released April 14 after posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond. Klafczynski could not be reached for comment.

A phone call to his attorney, Richard Perez of Willoughby, was not returned Thursday.

The discovery

School officials became aware of the allegations against the second-year marketing teacher and notified Wadsworth police Dec. 5.

Klafczynski was immediately placed on administrative leave during an investigation that was continuing as of his resignation Jan. 5, effective Jan. 6. The school district also reported the allegations to Medina County Job and Family Services.

His personnel file states that a copy of some messages exchanged between Klafczynski and the female student were obtained, as well as recorded voice conversations.

The personnel file also includes documentation of an incident involving another female high school student alleging Klafczynski made “sexually inappropriate comments,” but she ignored them and he “eventually stopped communicating with her that way.”

Wadsworth Superintendent Andy Hill said that the school district does not comment on incidents regarding faculty and students.

His background

Klafczynski, a Kent State University graduate, was hired in 2015. The school district’s background check did not indicate any prior legal offenses, according to the personnel file.

References told Wadsworth officials during the interviewing process that Klafczynski has “strong moral values,” “great character” and is a “tremendous role model.” One reference stated that Klafczynski was “still learning school settings as opposed to business,” but he was “learning and making adjustments.”

Documents show Klafczynski was paid a base salary of $38,841 for the 2015-16 school year and was expected to earn $41,599 for 2016-17.

He also was the varsity boys golf coach for 2017 with compensation of $3,962, as well as a volunteer baseball coach for the 2015-16 school year.

Klafczynski is a Highland High School graduate who played college baseball at Kent State and then also was a minor league baseball player from 2011-13 in the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox systems.

Records show in 2013-14, he worked at Classic Home Health Care in sales and marketing.

Klafczynski formerly was employed by Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron as a substitute teacher and a transportation coordinator for athletics in 2012. In 2014 and 2015, he worked as a substitute teacher as well as head girls golf coach and assistant girls basketball coach at Hoban.

Hoban officials did not return a message from The Gazette seeking comment on Klafczynski’s work at that school.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or afox@medina-gazette.com.

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