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Ex-guidance counselor gets prison for sex abuse of student

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Posted at 8:02 AM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 08:02:26-04

A former northeast Ohio guidance counselor has been sentenced to a year in state prison after admitting she sexually abused a student.

Ronetta Smith, 36, of Cleveland Heights, pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month of sexual battery and attempted tampering with evidence.

The 36-year-old was sentenced on Thursday. She must register as a sex offender and can never work in a high school again.

Smith's attorney unsuccessfully asked that she receive probation, saying she has no criminal history and a teen daughter at home.

Smith had been a guidance counselor at Euclid High School. She resigned in March.

According to Euclid Public Schools Superintendent Keith Bell, the school district opened an investigation after an anonymous phone call alleged the misconduct by a guidance counselor, later identified by police as Smith. 

Police said that on Jan. 29, they were notified by Assistant Superintendent Charles Smialek of an allegation of sexual battery involving Smith and an 18-year-old student, whose identity will not be released.

Prosecutors say Smith sent the student hundreds of text messages. Some referenced sexual assaults in school classrooms, in Smith's office and the boy's home.

Smith says she made a mistake and has apologized.