Posted: July 19, 2017
By Carlin Becker, Rare.us
GREELEY, Colo. —
A former Colorado teacher’s aide, who has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with two students, reportedly waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday in an effort to keep negotiations with the district attorney’s office open.
According to the Greeley Tribune, Jerica Enriquez, 24, is facing charges in two separate cases involving underage, male students. In one case, she has been charged with sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and obscenity to a minor. In the other, she faces a charge of enticement of a child. The charges stem from her time working at Prairie Heights Middle School and Jefferson Junior High School in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, Enriquez allegedly kissed a student in a classroom and offered to have sex with him, the Tribune reported. The boy reportedly told police and admitted to prosecutors that she also sent him a picture of herself wearing only a bra and underwear and a picture of herself naked. According to the boy, they never had sex.
However, authorities said Enriquez did have sex with a 14-year-old student in fall 2016, the Tribune reported. Police also said she sent a nude photo of herself to the student, as well as a picture of a negative pregnancy test.
Enriquez has not yet entered a plea in either case. Her attorney indicated that she wishes to continue to negotiate a possible plea with prosecutors.
Weld County Sheriff's Office
Weld County Sheriff's Office
A Pennsylvania teacher has been sentenced to prison time for sexually assaulting two female students.
According to WPMT, Randi Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, had sexual relations with two female students while teaching at Bishop McDevitt High School, a private Catholic school in Harrisburg. One of the relationships lasted from January 2013 to October 2016, while the other relationship began in early 2015 and also ended in October 2016, WPMT reported.
Zurenko – who faced numerous charges, including institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and possession of child pornography – was sentenced Thursday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the Dauphin County Prison, WPMT reported.
The 2 1/2-hour hearing brought heartfelt testimonies from the parents of the victims and the victims themselves. According to PennLive, one of the victims said Zurenko “slowly shattered every belief I held.” A father of one of the students said, “You deserve no grace, no chance at rehabilitation. You deserve no success.”
The former teacher, a mother of five, asked for leniency in light of her young children. In his sentencing, the judge declared, “Your conduct can only be described as incomprehensible. ... You became a villain.”
Investigators said Zurenko gave the victims alcohol, and one of the victims said in court that the situation threw her into a depression and that she even contemplated suicide, PennLive reported.
Zurenko’s lawyer said the former teacher is “a good woman who was truly in love with her victims.” He claimed she "is not somebody who took advantage of somebody else. She had real feelings for this person.” He also asked that the judge consider house arrest.
After serving her sentence, Zurenko will spend four years on probation and will have to complete 500 hours of community service.
Therese Gunn admitted Friday that she’d had a sexual relationship with one of her students. The 54-year-old, now-former orchestra teacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia, said she couldn’t believe she’d done it, and that she’d made a poor decision, and that she was sorry.
She then changed course, however briefly, and blamed her victim – claiming the then-17-year-old boy had coerced her into the relationship that developed at South Gwinnett High School.
“He did,” Gunn said in front of Judge Warren Davis. “He was like a used car salesman.”
Davis didn’t care for that argument, nor did prosecutor Karen West. And after Gunn entered her guilty plea to a single count of sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, the judge sentenced her to serve 90 days in prison.
The remainder of her 10-year sentence will be spent on probation.
“I don’t find that you're the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years,” Davis said. “We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You're not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care.”
Gunn, who worked as a teacher for 25 years and had been at South Gwinnett since 2002, was arrested in May 2016. At the time, police said she had held a relationship with the student, whom she taught for three years, for several months. Sexual activity allegedly "occurred at the school, at the teacher's [Loganville-area] residence and at Lenora Park.”
The relationship came to light after the student's mother found his journal and reported the relationship to police.
Under Georgia law, sexual contact between anyone with supervisory or disciplinary authority – such as a law enforcement officer, teacher or psychiatrist – and a person under their care is illegal, even if it’s consensual.
Gunn was the fourth Gwinnett teacher arrested on sex-related charges during the 2015-16 school year. Since then, three more Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers have arrested on similar charges, including former University of Georgia football player Mikey Henderson.
Another teacher who worked at the private Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn was also arrested earlier this year.
In their initial press release regarding Gunn’s case, Gwinnett County police said they had "discovered that the teacher hosted a party at her home in Grayson.”
“During the party, the teacher allowed the 17-year-old and two other female students to smoke marijuana under her direct supervision,” police wrote. “According to the detective, the teacher smoked marijuana, as well."
Gunn was initially charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but was not indicted on those charges.
The victim that Gunn admitted to having sexual encounters with briefly spoke in court Friday afternoon. He said Gunn “made [his] adolescence hell.”
A former teacher who reportedly has confessed to having sex with one of her students “a handful of times” between December 2016 and April 2017 appeared in a Bridgeport, Connecticut, court Tuesday to be arraigned on charges of sexual assault.
According to the New Haven Register, 31-year-old Laura Ramos, a married mother of a young child, was a special-education teacher at Central High School but resigned after she was arrested.
Police said Ramos' illicit relationship with an 18-year-old student began over text and turned physical in the back of her car, according to the arrest warrant.
A witness who texted with the teacher said, “Ms. Ramos would complain that her ‘man’ or ‘guy’ does not want to have sex or do anything with her," police said.
It’s not clear if this was referring to the husband or the student.
“Witness 1 noticed the victim would hang out in Ms. Ramos’ class and ... would watch them make eyes at each other, like flirting,” police documents say.
Authorities said Ramos initially denied that anything inappropriate took place, then admitted she talked with the 18-year-old student believed to have been involved. She later told investigators, “You’re not going to be happy with what you find on my phone," according to the documents.
Ramos has a plea hearing scheduled for July 25.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Ekatherine Pappas, 25, pleaded guilty last month in a Baltimore court to three misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sex offense, after the state dropped additional felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and was sentenced on Monday. Authorities said they discovered a video, which features a 16-year-old male student, in January and announced a warrant for her arrest. She bought a plane ticket to Colombia and left the country that very day, authorities said.
Also that same day, police interviewed the victim, who reportedly said Pappas asked him to leave school grounds during school hours on two occasions in December. Both times, she allegedly drove him to his home, where she had sexual relations with him. One incident was recorded on video, police said.
“I cannot begin to explain the terror of being notified that my son had been sexually abused, and it was on videotape that had been circulated throughout the school for others to see,” the victim’s father said in court, speaking of the moment a school resource office of Franklin High School became aware of the video and reported it to police.
The student, who has not been identified, has reportedly not returned to school, where Pappas had only worked for one month, since the investigation was launched, the Sun reported.
“As a young man, this entire ordeal has been extremely confusing for him, just as it would be for any victim that is exposed to sexual activity before they are at a level of maturity,” his father said in his statement to the court. “Our home is no longer viewed as a safe environment, since it is the location where the assault took place.”
All but one year and one day of Pappas’ sentence was suspended, and she was taken into custody following her hearing. In addition to jail time, she has been mandated to undergo five years of “specialized and enhanced supervised probation for sexual offenders” following her release.
A Texas kindergarten teacher and mother of two is now facing 21 charges after she allegedly had sex with four high school students – including two at the same time – and sent them explicit messages on Snapchat, according to the Lufkin Daily News and Daily Mail.
Heather Lee Robertson, 38, was indicted Thursday and faces six charges of improper relationship between educator and student and 15 charges of sexual assault. She was initially charged with four counts of improper relationship between educator and student.
KTRE reported in May that an investigation into Robertson’s relationships began on April 20 after police received a tip. One student told authorities he and a friend had a threesome with the teacher, and two other boys admitted to having sex with her multiple times. According to the affidavit, Robertson admitted to the allegations, saying she had sex with one of the students four times between late last year and this spring. The affidavit also said Robertson claimed she didn't remember the details of each instance because she had been drinking heavily.
A Texas educator is unlikely to see a classroom any time soon after she reportedly admitted to having sex with four students.
According to KTRE, Heather Lee Robertson, 38, was arrested Saturday and charged with four counts of “improper relationship between educator and student.” An affidavit shows that the investigation began on April 20 and that a high school student began “chatting and sexting with Robertson through Snapchat," the station reported. When she asked him to come to her apartment, the student asked to bring a friend. Robertson reportedly had sex with the students simultaneously.
During the investigation, two more students came forward to reveal sexual histories with Robertson, the affidavit said. Both students said they would sneak out, and Robertson would pick them up and take them back to her apartment, the affidavit said.
When confronted, Robertson admitted to the charges and stated that she “had recently become a heavy drinker and would sometimes not remember the details of the encounters," according to the affidavit. According to the Lufkin News, Robertson was arrested when a police officer pulled her over in traffic.
Superintendent Mary Ann Whiteker of the Hudson Independent School District, where Robertson was employed, told the Lufkin News that the district became aware of the allegations Thursday morning and Robertson had resigned by that afternoon. Whiteker also said the investigation has been finalized.
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