UPDATE: Teacher Asks For Public Defender

Tyler Baatz

(UPDATE: Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Craig Hintz tells StaceyPageOnline.com that Baatz has now been placed on unpaid suspension.

“After further review with school corporation legal counsel and due to the severity of the violation, EMS Teacher Tyler Baatz has been placed on suspension without pay until the matter is resolved,” Hintz said in an emailed statement.)

Appearing disheveled and tired, Tyler J. Baatz was led into Kosciusko County Superior Court I today where he had his initial court appearance.

Donning a black and white striped jail uniform and orange rubber sandals, Baatz stood with other inmates when Judge Duane Huffer asked who wished to have a public defender appointed. Defendents must prove they are indigent and cannot afford their own attorney to represent them.

Baatz, 26, of North Parker Street, Warsaw, was jailed Tuesday on felony charges of child seduction and sexual misconduct, class D and class B felonies respectively. The charges stem from alleged inappropriate sexual activity with one of his 14-year-old female students at Edgewood Middle School. Baatz has been a teacher at the school for over 3 years.

Baazt told the judge he has a bank account with only about $200 in it and that he is currently making car payments on his vehicle. He also said he was not sure if he was receiving income from his employer, Warsaw Community Schools.Baatz is currently on paid suspension. (See related article)

Tyler Baatz is led to his initial hearing by KCSD Jailer Gordy Nash, left, and KCSD Captain Aaron. (Photo provided)

Judge Huffer entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Baatz and said he will take the matter of his inability to pay for counsel under advisement.

Baatz was ordered to appear for a status conference hearing in the judge’s chambers on Sept. 17. A pre-trial conference was set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 22.

According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Kosciusko County Prosecutor today, Baatz admitted to inappropriate conduct with his former student. The acts occurred over a period of three weeks in August at his apartment in Warsaw.

The affidavit claims the 14-year-old girl told of a relationship she had with Baatz that included text messaging sentiments of love for one another, which led to sexual connotations. The girl was a student of Baatz’s in summer school and said there were several incidents of hugging and kissing that occurred in his classroom at the school. When questioned by detectives, Baatz admitted to the girl’s claims and to taking the girl to his apartment where he fondled her.

Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton says no other charges are expected against Baatz. Under Indiana law, a class B felony carries from 6 years to 20 years in prison; a class D felony carries a penalty of 6 months to 3 years. Both charges can also carry fines up to $10,000 each.

Baatz is being held on a $20,000 surety bond. His next public court date is set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 22.



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