Mitchell Released, Probation Set

The former social studies teacher and IB coordinator, who admitted to having sex with a student 22 years ago, served less than a third of his sentence


The Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts online docket documents the decision to release Mitchell on probation.

After serving 68 days of his nine-month prison sentence, former social studies teacher and IB Diploma Programme Coordinator Timothy Mitchell was ordered released from the Lorain Correctional Institution yesterday.

Mitchell received the minimum sentence after pleading guilty to child endangerment Sept. 7. He began serving the sentence at the Grafton facility Oct. 12.

According to the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts docket, Mitchell’s attorney filed a motion for judicial release on Nov. 15.

Yesterday, the court found Mitchell eligible for judicial release and placed him on one year of probation during which he must report every six months and pay a monthly supervision fee of $20. If Mitchell violates the terms of his probation, he may be sentenced to up to one half of his original prison term.

At Mitchell’s Oct. 12 sentencing, Judge Nancy McDonnell handed down the nine-month sentence — which could have been as long as three years — after Mitchell entered a plea of guilty to a revised child endangerment indictment and surrendered his teaching license on Sept. 7.

Four months prior, Mitchell pleaded not guilty to a felony sexual battery charge at his May 9 arraignment

According to the victim statement read at the Oct. 12 sentencing, in 1995, 36-year-old Mitchell took his 16-year-old student to a baseball game, bought her alcohol, gave her marijuana and had sex with her.

The student was Jennie Reiff (’95), now 39.

In her statement read by the prosecutor yesterday in court, Reiff explained that she feels indifferent toward Mitchell’s release. “What happens to him now has absolutely no bearing on my ability to move forward. Mr. Mitchell no longer has power over me — I have taken that back for myself,” she stated.

“I hadn’t wanted him to go to jail in the first place. I thought that losing his teaching license would be punishment enough,” Reiff added in an interview with The Shakerite. “Initially it was actually really hard knowing he was in jail, because I felt like as long as he was in prison, the ordeal wasn’t truly over and I couldn’t move on. The sentencing wound up not providing the closure I had hoped for.”

Reiff explained that it was her decision to speak out, not Mitchell’s sentencing, that allowed her to move forward. “While the sentencing was crucial to my healing—it’s what gave me the courage to start speaking—breaking my silence ultimately provided more peace and closure than any sentence ever could,” she said.

Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations Scott Stephens declined to comment on behalf of the district, stating that the case “doesn’t affect the district — [Mitchell] has been gone since Memorial Day.”


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