Shook admits he was wrong

For the first time, John “Tim” Shook admitted during his sentencing Monday he sexually molested three former students.


Tim Shook cries during sentencing Monday in Logan County Common Pleas Court. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Up to that point, even after a jury of eight women and four men found him guilty on 12 of 13 counts on Nov. 1, the former band and choir director at Riverside Local School District denied he had sexual relations with a girl now graduated and fondled two others who are now sophomores at the high school.

It was a factor Logan County Judge Mark S. O’Connor noted from the presentencing reports when he imposed a 7 1/2-year prison term.

“The defendant hasn’t shown any remorse for his action outside of what was said today,” the judge said, while labeling the defendant’s crimes as “serious.”

In his statement to the court, the defendant said “I acknowledged my role,” before apologizing to the victims, the school’s students and staff, and to his family.

Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee was not convinced, saying after the hearing, “I don’t think he is at all remorseful. He’s sorry he got caught.”

Mr. Goslee argued for a 39-year sentence.

“This is the first time in my tenure that I’ve asked the court to impose the maximum sentence,” Mr. Goslee said. “We need to send a very, very strong message.”

He noted the defendant could have avoided a trial by admitting his guilt and saved his victims, the school district, community and his family the emotional pain of the trial.

One victim shared afterward that each step of the case since March has rekindled tension in the district and the community.

“People have chosen their sides and some still believe he didn’t do it,” she said.

She and another victim continue to receive counseling as a result of the defendant’s actions and personal attacks against them.

As for the sentence, the girl said, “We would’ve liked to have seen more years.”

Still, she appreciated Judge O’Connor imposing a sentence for each victim. It acknowledged each victim mattered, she said.

Judge O’Connor also classified the 35-year-old father of two as a Tier III sex offender which will require him to register every 90 days with the sheriff of the county he resides in.

The defendant — who was found guilty of six counts of sexual battery, one count of attempted sexual battery and five counts of gross sexual imposition and acquitted of one count of attempted sexual battery — will lose his teaching licensing and can never work with children again.