Updated: Buzzell found guilty on all charges PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 05 March 2012 13:48
File photo. William Buzzell in court with his attoney. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
(Updated at 9:24am, 03-06-12)
A year after his arrest stunned the Rossford school district, former Glenwood Elementary principal William Buzzell was convicted Monday on four counts involving child pornography.
Buzzell, 46, of White Road, Perrysburg, entered no contest pleas to three counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor and a charge of possession of criminal tools. The charges could send him to prison for 25 years.
Judge Reeve Kelsey accepted the plea and found him guilty on all four charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Heather Baker told Kelsey that the prosecution is recommending Buzzell be imprisoned for four years on the first two counts and serve five years of community control following his prison sentence for the other two counts.
Buzzell's attorney Jeff Helmick told the judge he agreed with the recommendation.
Kelsey is not bound to accept that recommendation.
Sentencing has been scheduled for April 19.
As part of the proceedings Baker gave a summary of the evidence the prosecution would have presented against Buzzell at a trial.
As part of an undercover investigation on Feb. 22, 2011, Perrysburg Police Detective Pat Jones discovered files that had been identified as child pornography being downloaded to an account determined to be associated with Buzzell's address.
Based on that a search warrant was issued for Buzzell's home. The search on March 1, 20011 was carried out only after police determined there was no unsecure internet access in the neighborhood.
Following the search of his home, Buzzell was arrested. His office at Glenwood School was also searched. None of what was found there was related to any of the charges, Baker said Monday.
She also confirmed that no local children were involved in the videos discovered.
The three pandering sexually-oriented material charges were each related to a separate video. Each involved prepubescent girls of about 10 years of age involved in sexual acts. The fourth charge related to a personal computer used to view and share those videos.
As Baker read graphic descriptions of what the videos contained, Buzzell sat by his attorney with his head bowed and eyes closed. Other than simple answers, mostly "yes" and "no" to questions from the judge, Buzzell did not address the court.
As part of the recommended sentence, Buzzell will have to give up the computer seized by police and will surrender his principal's license.
Following his arrest, Buzzell was placed on unpaid leave by the school district. In January, however, the Board of Education voted to fire him despite a decision by a state referee that he couldn't be fired because he had yet to be convicted.
Interim Superintendent William McFarland said that Buzzell has challenged his firing in a suit filed in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
McFarland agreed his status with the district was in limbo. Beyond that neither he nor Board President Dawn Burks would comment on the case.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 10:25

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