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After Thirty-Two Years, Rape Victim Speaks Out
By ANDREW LOGSDON | firstname.lastname@example.org
After thirty-two years of silence, a Paulding, Ohio man is speaking out.
He says he was raped by a teacher back when he was a student.
That teacher died ten years ago, and today, a memorial sits in front of Paulding Middle School in his honor.
On Tuesday, the man asked school board members to remove that memorial.
The allegations made by Barry Vance are shocking.
He also says he wasn't the only victim.
But he hopes that by speaking tonight he can inspire others to tell their stories.
Barry Vance is telling his story- thirty-two years later.
"This teacher came in, closed the door, had a pair of scissors in his hand and threatened me with them... Attacked me, threw me to the floor, had his hand over my mouth, pulling on my neck, slammed my face, the left side of my face, which there's still a mark on my face where it went into the left of the table, and he raped me,” says Vance.
That teacher Vance claims was Don Schnepp, and Vance says Schnepp raped in inside a room at Paulding Middle School during school hours.
In 2004, Vance says he wrote Schnepp a letter explaining how it impacted him.
A week later, Schnepp was found dead- which Vance says the police report listed the cause of death as 'suicide.'
Shortly after, staff placed a memorial rock in front of the middle school in Schnepp's honor.
Recently, Vance says he's heard talk about putting a second memorial inside of the middle school.
That pushed Vance to speak out and go public with his allegations.
"In thirty-two years of this, in some way, I feel my childhood was taken from me, my last thirty-two years was taken from me, but more than anything, I've given this school and this community thirty-two years of my life by keeping this inside,” Vance says.
Tuesday night, he asked the Paulding school board to scrap the rock memorial, and also asked for a written protocol in place regarding teacher, coach and student relations.
He also believes he wasn't Schnepp's only victim.
He says teachers who have worked with Schnepp confirm that belief.
"they would all believe that there is at least one student, for each class, for every year that he taught in that school,” Vance says.
Vance says it has affected everything in his life.
And by publicly telling his story, he can begin to find closure.
Paulding school board members were not available before the meeting for comment.
Superintendent William Hanak told me he would let me know what they decide to do.
He said the meeting should be wrapping up sometime after 10 this evening.
We'll keep following this story for you and let you know what the Paulding school board decides.
Update- WFFT spoke with Paulding Exempt Village Schools Superintendent William Hanak late Tuesday.
He says the school board plans to discuss the possible removal of the rock memorial.
Hanak says the memorial was paid for and put in place by teachers, but the school board does have the authority to move and or remove it if necessary.