Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pasadena, MD teacher sentenced to probation for "relationship" with 17 year old student

An Anne Arundel County, MD teacher and coach who had a relationship with a 17 year old student was sentenced to probation yesterday. 29 year old Kristyn Breeds, formerly of Severna Park, currently of Lusby MD, was sentenced to 3 years of probation by Annapolis District Court Judge Thomas Pryal. The probation was offered "before judgement," which allows Breeds to get her record expunged if she stays out of trouble for 6 years.

Breeds faced a year in prison and a $1000 fine, a sentence which still could be handed down if Breeds continued to see her victim. "This relationship was inappropriate and unacceptable, but it was also illegal. This relationship cannot continue.”

The "relationship" started when Breeds and the victim attended Northeast High School in Pasadena, MD. The victim's mother, Celeste McDonald, grew suspicious last May, even though both her son and Breeds denied it.  Breeds kept the "affair" going by using a secret cell phone. The sexual exploitation ended after rumors started spreading around the high school in December.

McDonald said that "I did suspect they were a little bit closer than a normal student and teacher relationship was, but she was also like that with many of the students on the track team. She was their peer more than their mentor."

Breeds was pulled from the classroom on Jan. 4, and suspended when charged 10 days later with three counts of a fourth-degree sex offense. School officials will move to fire the former nominee for teacher of the year. When the teenager was questioned by police he initially tried to protect Breeds, Smith said. According to charging documents, Breeds told police that she and the 17-year-old had sex at the park-and-ride lot on Leelyn Drive in Severna Park, at her Severna Park home and at Queenstown Park.

Prosecutor Michelle Smith said the decision to accept the guilty plea was done to avoid retraumatizing the victim. "We did not want to have to basically retraumatize him by going forward in testimony, so I think it was appropriate that Ms. Breeds pled guilty, admitted what she'd done and it was inappropriate." Smith also said that the victim lied about his involvement to protect his teacher. "The student initially tried to protect Miss Breeds. It was apparent that he cared very much for her."

McDonald said that "The damage she caused in the family, the school and the community is deplorable. She had no right...If you only had just an inkling of what he is going through. I had to withdraw him from high school because of the stigma on him. He will thrive."

McDonald also told the perp that the respect she had from her track players was gone. "The kids on the track team who looked up to you - that's gone now. I am mad, I am mad. Oh my goodness, I am mad."

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