COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Police are investigating as a Hilliard Darby High School teacher has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Brian Tonti, who worked at the high school for 22 years, resigned at the request of the school district, Hilliard City Schools Superintendent David Stewart said in an email to parents. A former student — who was a minor at the time of the incident — came forward during the school’s December holiday break. They reported to the district that they had an inappropriate relationship with Tonti while attending more than 10 years ago.

After the school district learned of the accusation, the superintendent said it immediately placed Tonti on administrative leave, told him to stay away from school property and have no contact with students, and contacted Hilliard Division of Police. NBC4 obtained an incident report from HPD, which listed a sex offense happening between Sept. 1, 2010, and May 30, 2013. The report indicates Tonti could be facing felony sexual battery or rape charges.

The school district is investigating alongside police and filed a report to the Ohio Department of Education, Stewart wrote.

“We are deeply sorry that one of our graduates has been dealing with this, and we appreciate the courage it takes to come forward,” Stewart said. “As disturbing as these allegations are, Mr. Tonti has a right to due process. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities.”

The district noted that a background check did not turn up any concerns before it hired Tonti, and it is not aware of any similar accusations while he was employed with Hilliard City Schools. However, Stewart asked any parents or guardians with information related to the case to contact a Hilliard police detective at 614-334-2473.

While now removed from the Darby Theatre’s website, it also listed Tonti as a silent partner for the organization as recently as September 2022. He was the assistant director for the theatre in 2010, but the website did not specify when he stepped down from that role.

The superintendent said the school will address the incident with students in any of Tonti’s classes on Jan. 3, and will begin a search for a replacement teacher. The district will also make counselors available for students in the aftermath.