ELYRIA — A former visual arts teacher who had nude and semi-nude photographs of a 14-year-old female student avoided prison time during his sentencing hearing Monday.
But Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski warned Ezais Robinson that he should be on his best behavior during the three years he’s on probation or he could face more than two years behind bars.
Robinson, 40, pleaded guilty in April to charges of illegal use of a minor in nude material and tampering with evidence after prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges of pandering obscenity involving a minor.
The girl, now 16, had sent the photos to Robinson’s cell phone in September and October 2010. The photos came to the attention of authorities after another student picked up the phone and saw them.
Robinson later deleted the photos after learning that school officials were looking into the allegations against him.
Robinson was suspended from his job at the now-closed Arts Academy in Lorain and later fired.
His attorney, Michael Polito, told Betleski that his client was in a vulnerable state when he received the photos from the student after learning that his then-wife was engaged in a relationship with another man. He said Robinson was drinking heavily and lonely at the time.
Robinson didn’t comment during the hearing, but Polito said his client has found a job at a local factory and is attending counseling.
Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Pierre said Robinson’s personal problems didn’t change anything.
“No matter what was going on in his personal life, it doesn’t condone it,” he said.
The victim’s mother said her daughter was traumatized by what Robinson put her through and has suffered mental health problems ever since.
She said she had sent her daughter to the Arts Academy to protect her from the dangers of attending Lorain Schools.
“You betrayed your position, and you caused great pain to my daughter,” the mother told Robinson.
Robinson also was ordered to register as a sexual offender for the next 15 years and must perform 100 hours of community service.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.