Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old Bridge HS drama teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse of 17 year old student

(Original Post 6-4-09)

Lisa Glide plead guilty in a New Brunswick, NJ courtroom June 2 to the sexual abuse of a 17 year old student she had a relationship with. The 35 year old former Old Bridge High School drama teacher agreed in Superior Court Judge Frederick De Vesa's courtroom to mental health counseling, to no unsupervised contact with boys, and to give up her teaching license and any other chance of public employment in New Jersey.

Glide faces up to 364 days in the Middlesex County Jail and 5 years probation when she is sentenced in August. Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua stated the 17 year old victim was agreeing to the plea deal so he would not have to testify at a trial.

Glide, who organized the high school's plays, was arrested in December. She began teaching at the high school in September 2004 and was suspended after her arrest. The relationship with the student took place between February and May of last year.

Before working for Old Bridge, Glide was employed with the Marlboro Township schools from 2001 to 2004, and worked for Jersey City schools from 2000 to 2001, authorities said. She began her teaching career as a substitute in Weehawken in 1999 and 2000.

She was earning $50,943 annually as a teacher in Old Bridge. She majored in theater at Montclair State University and studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.

In a December 2005 article in The Suburban, a weekly newspaper in Old Bridge, Glide said she appeared on the soap operas "One Life to Live" and "All My Children," and was on an episode of the television drama, "Dawson's Creek." She gave the interview after directing the high school's production of Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite."

In New Jersey, the usual AOC is 16, but rises to 18 when a teacher/student relationship is involved. Even after 18, teacher/student sex can be punished by criminal official misconduct charges.

(Update 8-12-09) On Monday, August 10, Glide was sentenced to 5 years probation by Superior Court Judge Frederick De Vesa. While the Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua wanted 364 days in jail, De Vesa cited depression and cancer that Glide suffered from as factors in the lack of incarceration. Two mental health professionals stated that a term of incarceration for Glide could be life threatening.

Another factor in leniency included a letter from the victim, who is now a college sophomore. He stated that the incident "was blown out of proportion."

The victim said "I was 17 1/2 at the time and very able to take care of myself," and added he did not feel as if he was a victim. In fact, he said "I was the initiator," and admitted Glide refused his advances, but he pursued her, even looking up her address on the Internet and making an unannounced visit to her home.

Bevacqua's push for the maximum sentence was because "it is against the law for teachers to have sex with their was her burden to stop this. She was the adult in this situation."
Glide is not only barred from teaching, but also barred from any public sector job in New Jersey.

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