Sunday, September 13, 2009

Connecticut drama teacher pleads guilty to sex with 17, 18 year old students

A Connecticut man who was a high school teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of 2nd degree sexual assault for entering into sexual relationships with two of his students, one 17 and the other 18. The relationships lasted from spring of 2008 to fall of 2008, according to prosecutors.

Though 16 is Connecticut's age of consent in most situations, teacher student sex is considered to be sexual assault even if the student is over 16 (or for that matter, 18). Russell Andrews, a 34 year old Lebanon, CT resident, plead guilty Wednesday, September 10, in New London Superior Court during a scheduled court appearance.

Andrews, the former chorus and drama club director, was arrested in the wake of a police investigation started in December after rumors started circulating around [Montville High School] that he was in a relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Andrews and the student engaged in consensual sex in the school auditorium, police said.

Further investigation uncovered a second victim, another former student, who admitted having sex with Andrews on numerous occasions during her senior year at the school. Andrews claims he did not have sex with the student until she was 18.

State prosecutor John Gravalec-Pannone will recommend a sentence of 14 years in prison, suspended after 7 years, and 20 years probation. The plea agreement meant that the 6 counts of 2nd degree sexual assault Andrews faced is now only two. Andrews must spend nine months in prison because that's the minimum mandatory sentence for 2nd degree sexual assault in Connecticut. Judge Susan B. Handy will preside over Andrews' sentencing, scheduled for November 10.

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