Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teacher Charged in Breast Milk Assault


Deputies with the Delaware County sheriff's office arrived at a banquet hall early Saturday morning expecting to break up a domestic dispute. Instead, they were met by breast milk.

Stephanie Robinette, 30, of Westerville, Ohio was arrested about 1 a.m. Saturday after deputies responded to a domestic violence call at Bridgewater Banquet Facility on Sawmill Parkway in Delaware County, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Witnesses and Robinette's husband told deputies that he and his wife were having an argument and that she struck him multiple times and then locked herself in the car. He also told them that his wife was intoxicated following a wedding they attended and started the dispute, the sheriff's office said in the news release.

The deputies said Mrs. Robinette began yelling profanities when they approached the vehicle and refused to get out. She then informed them she was a breast-feeding mother, removed her right breast from her dress and began spraying deputies and the vehicle with her breast milk, Sheriff Walter L. Davis, III said in the news release.

Deputies removed Robinette from the vehicle and arrested her. She was taken to Delaware County jail.

She faces charges of domestic violence, assault, obstructing official business, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Domestic violence and assault are both first-degree misdemeanors. Obstructing official business and resisting arrest are second-degree misdemeanors and disorderly conduct is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

First-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Robinette pleaded not guilty to all five charges during her arraignment at Delaware County Municipal Court today.

She was released from the jail on her own recognizance under the conditions that she have no contact with her husband and that she report to the probation department for a mental-health assessment, according to a court official.

During her court appearance, Mrs. Robinette said she is a teacher, WBNS-TV (Channel 10) reported. State records show she teaches at Summit Academy on Columbus' East Side. The school's website says Mrs. Robinette, who has a master's degree, taught second and third grades at the school in the 2010-11 school year. The school specializes in helping children with autism, ADHD and other disorders.

Teachers who are found guilty of certain offenses could face losing their teaching licenses.

No one answered the phone at the Robinettes' home.

Further investigation into the case could lead to additional charges, including harassment with a bodily substance, Davis said in the release.

"Many factors go into this, including whether deputies were actually hit with the breast milk," Davis said.

State law prohibits the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a law enforcement officer with blood, semen, urine, feces or another bodily substance.

The fifth-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

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