LORAIN — A principal who kissed the feet of three of his 14-year-old students avoided jail time at his sentencing Tuesday, but he must register as a sexually oriented offender for the next 10 years, effectively ending his career in education.
Robert Holloway, 51, also was given two years of probation and must pay a $1,000 fine, Visiting Judge Gus Nunez ordered. If Holloway violates probation, he could be sent to jail for six months.
Holloway was suspended and later fired from his job at St. Anthony of Padua School in Lorain for kissing the bare feet of the male students after losing a bet over a teacher-student volleyball game in March 2006.
During the hearing in Lorain Municipal Court, Holloway remained silent, allowing his attorney Carmen Roberto to apologize on his behalf.
Afterward, Holloway told reporters that he was sorry for what he had done.
Roberto said his client had been “humiliated” by the whole experience.
“But I think he’ll be OK in the long run,” he said.
Holloway had the victims, who did not attend the hearing Tuesday, take off their shoes and socks and place their feet over his face. He also gave them $15 after losing the bet, according to court records.
When confronted by police after parents complained, Holloway claimed the foot-kissing incident wasn’t sexual in nature, and he did it to make the students laugh. But officers found about 400 pictures depicting foot fetishes that had been downloaded from the Internet on Holloway’s school-issued computers.
Assistant Lorain Law Director James Walther said Holloway paid a high price for indulging in his fetish with his students.
“He’s a guy who should have known better. He took advantage of his students and he’s paying the price for it,” he said.
But Walther thinks Holloway has learned his lesson.
“I don’t think he’ll do it again,” he said. “He’s been removed from being around children.”
Holloway currently has an eight-year high school teaching license, according to the Ohio Department of Education. A spokeswoman would not confirm whether there’s an investigation into his behavior that could prevent him from teaching again.
Roberto said finding work again could prove difficult for his client, who lost his part-time bookkeeping job at a cemetery after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual imposition and unauthorized use of property in April.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.