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A former school employee from Wisconsin has been sentenced to six months for sexually abusing a teenage student.
Courtney Roznowski, 32, appeared in court in Green Bay on Friday, where she was sentenced after pleading no contest to one count of exposing intimate parts to a child, WLUK reports. Upon her release, she will be on probation for three years, in addition to having to stay sober and refrain from working around minors again. The judge also ordered her to write apology letters to her former colleagues at Green Bay Southwest High School, as well as local superintendents, for damaging their reputations.
Police began an investigation Roznowski last year after receiving a report from Child Protective Services alleging that a staff member at Southwest High School was molesting a 16-year-old student, WBAY reports. A staff member at the school told police that Roznowski seemed to be “unusually close” with the student in question; when an investigator spoke with Roznowski and asked to see her phone, she began crying and admitted that she’d exchanged text messages with the teen a “couple times” to “make sure he was ok.” She later admitted to having a physical relationship with the teen that began in July 2018, and said that they’d had sex at his home in August 2018.
Roznowski told police that she was drinking heavily at that point in her life and was going through a difficult time; she also claimed that she didn’t remember the first time they had sex because she “was really drunk” and “woke up throwing up” at his house, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
The victim at first denied having a sexual relationship with Roznowski, but said that he was aware of the rumors, according to WBAY. He reportedly remarked, "Well, it is every kid's dream to do a teacher." He later told authorities that he and Roznowski had sexual contact on two occasions and said that she’d told him that he was “special and deserved special things."
The teen also told detectives that Roznowski had “pushed the limit” throughout their relationship and that he was the one to end it, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.
Roznowski was initially facing more serious charges of sexual assault of a student by a staff member, but those charges were dropped because she was not under contract with the Green Bay School District at the time of the sexual encounters, WLUK reports.
During Friday’s sentencing, Roznowski claimed to have grown as a person since her arrest.
“I accept responsibility for what I did, and I know what I did was wrong,” she reportedly said. “While I did not initiate the relationship, I should have put an end to it once I realized that the messages being sent to me were from a student at the school. Please have it in your heart to see the good in me. Have me keep working, have me keep seeing my counselor, have me be around my family daily. Overall, I hope my actions for the last 13 months have shown you how serious I have and will continue to take this.”
However, Judge Donald Zuidmulder referred to her conduct as “appalling” and described her as “the nightmare of every parent.”
“You are, frankly, the nightmare of every parent. Because what a parent assumes is that their child is in safe environment with trusting people,” he said, before instructing Roznowski to look at her parents, who were attendance at her hearing, as he remarked on the “humiliation and embarrassment” her actions caused them.
Following her arrest last year, the Green Bay School District placed Roznowski on unpaid administrative leave, and she resigned soon after.
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