Former Penta teacher pleads not guilty to sexual battery charges

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTVG) - A former Penta Career Center teacher who worked at Genoa High School plead not guilty to three counts of sexual battery Wednesday morning in Ottawa County Common Pleas court.

Luke Ryan, who worked at Genoa high school for more than a decade, is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a student from December 2014 through April 2015.

Prosecutors asked for a $50,000 bond with electronic monitoring but his OR bond was continued. Ryan is asking for permission to travel out of state, which is under review.

A pre-trial has been scheduled for December 6 and the trial for February.

Detectives working the case say there could be other victims and are asking anyone with information related to this case and Luke Ryan to contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

According to Genoa superintendent Michael Ferguson, Ryan was a Penta employee working as a vocational agricultural teacher at Genoa. He had been at Genoa since August 2008, until he was removed in April by Penta.

Penta released this statement Oct. 24 when Ryan was indicted:

On the afternoon of April 1, 2019, Penta Career Center Administration, in a meeting with the former student and the student’s parent, was first made aware of the allegations against Luke Ryan, of an inappropriate relationship with a student.

At the conclusion of that meeting, Penta Career Center Administration immediately contacted the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department to inform them of all the allegations against Luke Ryan.

Due to the fact that Luke Ryan was a satellite teacher assigned to Genoa High School, that same afternoon, Penta Career Center Administration informed the Genoa Superintendent of our plan to be on his campus the morning of April 2, 2019, to place Luke Ryan on paid administrative leave.

On the morning of April 2, 2019, Luke Ryan was notified in person by Penta Career Center Administration, that he was being placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation.

On April 25, 2019, Luke Ryan was notified that the Penta Career Center Board of Education would be meeting on April 29, 2019, to consider suspending him without pay and to begin termination proceedings of his teaching contract.

On April 25, 2019, Penta Career Center Administration submitted the required notification to the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Professional Conduct, regarding the allegations against Luke Ryan, and on June 13, 2019, responded to a subpoena from the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Professional Conduct, requesting additional information

On April 29, 2019, Penta Career Center Board of Education accepted Luke Ryan’s irrevocable resignation, and there was no separation agreement.

Throughout this investigation, Penta Career Center Administration has cooperated with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio Department of Education.

Ryan was also president of the Lucas County Fair Board. He resigned from that position in October.