By Alex Gecan
A former Middletown High School teacher has accepted a plea deal in a sexual assault case.
Christine Powell, 39, of Middletown, entered a guilty plea Tuesday morning at the Middlessex Judicial District courthouse through her attorney, John Maxwell.
Powell is charged with second-degree sexual assault for engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenager whom she had taught and tutored both at Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Middletown High School.
Powell first taught the boy when he was in eighth grade. She transferred to Middletown High, where she was a special education teacher, after he began school there. During the proceedings, prosecutors explained how the victim’s mother alerted authorities after the victim went without answering phone calls or text messages for a weekend in November 2011; the mother then discovered that the victim had been arrested for shoplifting, and she suspected Powell of impersonating her to sign the victim’s juvenile summons.
The victim’s mother later found ladies’ underwear and a class ring with Powell’s name under the victim’s bed, according to prosecutors.
Powell had given rides to the victim, invited the victim to swim at her home and had been found by a colleague in a locked classroom with the victim, according to statements given in court; Powell herself admitted that she had begun a sexual relationship with the defendant following his 16th birthday.
During the course of the preliminary investigation, Powell had admitted to police that she had sent the boy nude photos of herself via cell phone.
Prosecutors recommended that the judge administer a sentence of five years in prison, to be commuted after 18 months, pending a 10-year probation. Powell would also be compelled to register as a sex offender.
This article was written by Alex Gecan and originally published on middletownpress