WINDHAM, Ohio (WJW) – Police interview tapes obtained exclusively by FOX 8 News reveal new details about the illegal behavior of an Austintown woman who is also the former superintendent of the Windham Exempted Village School District in Portage County.
The tapes show some of the crimes committed by 35-year-old Laura Amero were on video and happened in her office while she was serving as principal at Windham High School.
By outward appearances, Amero was a successful school administrator. In less than four years, she was promoted from principal to assistant superintendent, then superintendent.
But an investigation revealed Amero was hiding a dark secret — her pursuit of sexual relationships with at least two 16-year-old students while she was principal.
Windham police launched an investigation in March 2019 after a concerned parent contacted them.
An officer questioned Amero and recorded the conversation. He asked Amero about an intimate video being passed around by students at Windham High School.
In the recording, the officer said, “In the last three days, it has come up and there supposedly is a video.”
Amero then said, “That’s what I heard, too.”
The officer responded, “If there is and it is you, you’re better off to get in front of it.”
Amero said, “I heard there was a video, too, and that he showed it to people on the basketball team.”
On the tapes, Amero initially claimed she was not the woman in the explicit video and denied any wrongdoing. But the officer told her there was evidence of her illegal relationship with one of the teen boys on Snapchat and in text messages.
On the tape, the officer said, “You sent him some pictures and he sent some back, and that, eventually, it wound up with you calling him down to the office and (BLEEP).”
The officer said, “I think it probably happened. I can tell by your eyes and the way you’re talking to me, and it was a moment of weakness, I’m sure.”
In a follow-up meeting two days later, Amero acknowledged the allegation about the sexual encounter in her office was true. She asked the police officer if there was anything she could do to avoid prosecution.
“I just need it to go away so if I need to resign at the end of the year, I’ll (BLEEP) resign, I will get out. It was a weak moment, it was stupid,” she said.
“It’s a mandatory reporting thing, just like we have at the school,” the officer said.
“I’m not a predator, I’m not,” Amero said.
Facing the damning evidence, Amero pleaded guilty to having sex with the 16-year-old boy and trying to have sex with another 16-year-old student.
A Portage County judge sentenced Amero to 10 years in prison and ruled that when she is released, she must register as a sex offender.
She revealed in court that she is pregnant and due in March. The judge decided Amero will begin serving the prison sentence on April 1, approximately two weeks after the baby is born.