National Trail SRO arrested


EATON – A Preble County Sheriff’s deputy serving as a School Resource Officer in the National Trail School District is in the Butler County Jail this week, being held without bond and facing charges stemming from his sexual relationship with a high school student at NTHS.

Sheriff Mike Simpson called a special press conference for Saturday, March 23, to announce the investigation and arrest of Deputy Mason Williams, 26.

“On Wednesday, March 20, the Preble County Sheriff’s Office began an internal investigation regarding unprofessional conduct of a deputy sheriff,” Simpson read from a prepared press release. “Based on information learned, a request was made of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to handle a criminal and an internal affairs investigation, after it was learned that a school resource officer assigned to the National Trail Local schools was alleged to be involved in a consensual relationship with an 18-year-old student outside of the school setting.”

The MCSO Special Investigation Unit and the Inspectional Services Unit immediately began their investigation, according to Simpson, who said on Friday, March 22, Montgomery County investigators presented their investigation to date to the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office and secured an arrest warrant for the employee.

“Preble and Montgomery County deputies arrested that employee without incident yesterday afternoon,” Simpson said during a press conference on Saturday, March 23.

Williams has been formally charged in Eaton Municipal Court with charges including sexual battery, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony and dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor. He was being held without bond at press time in the Butler County Jail.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office investigation is not completed, Simpson said in a statement, and they will also begin an internal affairs investigation at the PCSO’s request and forward results to the PCSO.

“No additional information will be released until both investigations are complete,” he added.

“And I just want to make a short statement,” Simpson told the press after the initial announcement. “This alleged conduct goes against many of the core values of this office – professionalism, integrity, and making sound ethical and moral decisions both on duty and off duty. We expect – I expect – everyone here to operate at a very high level as it relates to these values. Anything less is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated. When law enforcement investigates and arrests one of their own it’s imperative that we be transparent about what we learned and how we responded, which is why we’re here today.”

Simpson said Williams is on paid administrative leave at this time. He also noted, to this point in the investigation, authorities “don’t believe any other student is involved. This did not occur at the school. If someone has information, we’d certainly like to hear from them. But we believe that this was isolated to one student with a consensual relationship.”

When asked about the sexual battery charge by members of the press, Simpson explained, “Being assigned to the school, he’s in a position of trust at the school, which gets us to that offense that you’re speaking of, much like a teacher or counselor or anybody else in that nature is in a position of trust. And based on this investigation, that’s the appropriate charge. And I want to stress that these are not the values that we expect from our employees here. 99.9 percent of the people here are not this one employee.”

Williams has worked as an SRO for approximately two years, according to Simpson.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.

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