Competency hearings begin for substitute accused of touching himself during class

Low IQ to blame in teacher scandal?

FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) - A hearing to determine if a substitute teacher is competent to stand trial kicked off this week in Fairfield.

Tracey Abraham is accused of touching himself during class in front of students at Creekside Middle. He’s facing public indecency charges after a student posted a video of Abraham to social media.

On Thursday, a judge saw video of detectives interviewing the substitute teacher.

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The average IQ of a high school graduate is 105.

Abraham’s defense team argues that his intelligence quotient (IQ) ranges from 69 to 74. They say he was successful in school, but that was only possible through special programs. He was unable to maintain employment in his adult life, but was able to qualify as a sub. They say he did not understand his rights after he was arrested.

“The Constitution does not require that a criminal suspect know and understand every possible consequence of a waiver of his 5th amendment privilege,” said Fairfield Prosecutor Pat Oelrich.

The prosecution claims Abraham said he understood his Miranda rights when asked and that he understood what was happening during the interview process.

“The individual has a four-year degree in Communications from the University of Dayton, who responds at all times appropriately to questions, voices his concerns when he has them,” said Oelrich.

The competency hearings could take several more days before the judge rules.

Adam Marcum with the Butler County Educational Service Center says Abraham subbed for several districts in the area -- and for a wide range of grade levels. He was hired in 2012 -- and there are no documented issues in his employment history that he was aware of. Abraham’s bachelor’s degree allowed him to apply and receive his short-term teaching license from the Ohio Department of Education, and he passed all required background checks in 2012 and 2017.

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