Woman sentenced to prison for sex-related crimes

A former Tiffin woman who had been accused of sex-related crimes involving a boy with autism who had been her neighbor was sentenced to more than four years in prison Wednesday.

Tabitha P. Zahn, 28, of Findlay, had been indicted by a Seneca County grand jury on four counts of sexual battery, all third-degree felonies, and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, all fourth-degree felonies.

She pleaded no contest with a consent to finding of guilty to the three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, fourth-degree felonies, during a hearing in Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff’s courtroom.

Shuff found her guilty, and he dismissed the other counts at the request of Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office.

Shuff sentenced Zahn to 51 months in prison, with credit for 297 days served.

Zahn would be eligible for judicial release when she serves six months in prison. Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to remain silent about judicial release.

Shuff classified Zahn as a Tier 2 sex offender, which requires in-person verification every 180 days for 25 years.

Zahn cannot establish residence within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool or licensed child care center.

Stephanie Kiser, assistant Seneca County prosecutor, said evidence shows that Zahn engaged in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old boy.

Lidia Lee, director of Seneca County Victim Assistance, said the family, on behalf of the child, was ready to move on and was satisfied with the resolution.

Lee read a statement on behalf of the victim.

She said Zahn had ruined the boy’s life, and he will never forgive her.

“You have turned my world upside down,” she said.

“I still have nightmares of what you have done to me,” she said on behalf of the victim.

John Kahler, Zahn’s attorney, said Zahn had learned a lesson from the situation.

“She’s already been punished, as you know, 297 days in jail,” he said.

Kahler said that when the case broke, Zahn’s husband quickly filed for a divorce. Zahn lost custody of her children, and she missed them very much, he said.

Zahn declined to speak before sentencing.