Thursday, November 8, 2007

Former Substitute Teacher Accused of Having Sex With Teenage Student to Go to Trial

Update on the story I blogged on back on October 8, 2007 regarding a Pierce County, WI teacher was posted at WEAU - HomePage.

A former Prescott substitute teacher was fired. Now, she faces felony charges for having sex with a 13-year old student.

A Pierce County judge ruled the case will go to trial.

Thirty-nine-year-old Anne Knopf is charged with felony sexual assault of a child under the age of 16.

Anne Knopf isn't in jail. The judge released her on a $25,000 signature bond. Monday, she was fingerprinted and jailers took her mug shot at the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The judge says she cannot have any contact with the boy or his family.

"We take these cases very seriously, the potential penalty is very serious," said Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle. "But this case is still in its infant stages, with the preliminary hearing down the road. There's nothing to prove guilt yet."

"It's really not the time to make any comments about the allegations," said Knopf's defense attorney Fred Bruno.

Knopf is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old male student, between January 1 and May 18 of this year.

I stated then that the superintendent's investigation was not sufficient and that further digging needs to be done. If anything has been done, I have seen no evidence of it.

As a matter of fact, this bit from the Prescott Journal might explain why...

Prescott Superintendent Roger Hulne stated that his own investigation found nothing inappropriate to have occurred on school property or during school hours.

However, one account in the sheriff's investigation stated that Lyle Nolt, the middle school principal, was notified three weeks prior to the May 17 incident of rumors and suspicions about some type of relationship between the boy and Knopf.

Nolt at first refused to confirm he was notified and did not comment on whether any action was taken regarding that complaint.

Nolt later submitted a letter last Tuesday responding to the Journal, stating that the mother of the boy had told him approximately three weeks before May 17 that her son was receiving e-mails from a person named Mara. In his letter, Nolt said he told the student's mother he didn't know anyone named Mara and advised her to continue to intercept the e-mails and to report them to police if she felt her son was in danger.

In a follow-up interview, Nolt stated that he did not know that Knopf was the subject of the mother's complaint until he was notified by Hulne on May 18.

Nolt stated that he did not take any further action or pursue an investigation based on the mother's complaint.

I wonder why she went to the school superintendent if she had no reason to believe that it was a teacher that he was emailing?

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