Three years after online rumors first suggested a high school english teacher's racy reputation, she was arrested Friday for allegedly sexting a student.
Michelina Aichele, an English teacher at the Montgomery Township High School in New Jersey, allegedly sent nude photographs of herself to a 17-year-old male student over a period of “several months,” according to the a news release by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office announcing her Oct. 5 arrest.
In addition to photographs, the 29-year-old Aichele allegedly engaged in “sexually explicit conversations” with the student, through social media and email, prosecutors said.
She was charged with second-degree child endangerment, according to court officials at the Somerset County criminal court. The charge, a third-degree felony under New Jersey law, ordinarily carries a potential maximum sentence of three to five years.
Aichele was held in the Somerset County jail until Oct. 7, when she was released on her own recognizance after a court detention hearing, court and jail officials told Oxygen.com.
A voicemail and text message to a telephone number confirmed to be Aichele's, inviting her to share her side of the story, were not responded to; court officials could not provide the name of a lawyer representing her.
The investigation was triggered by a call to police from school administrators, prosecutors said, “regarding sexually explicit communications between a teacher and a male student.” The alleged victim cooperated with police, and provided investigators with details of their digital liaisons.
Aichele graduated from Rutgers, and was an English teacher at the school since 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile. She earned $70,306 in 2017, but has been suspended because of her arrest, reports MyCentralJersey.com, a local news website.
“Ms. Aichele was teacher and soccer coach to my kids. She brought out the best in them in class and on the field. A lovely person. I refuse to believe the negativity. There must be some mistake,” one parent wrote on ratemyteachers.com after her arrest.
Most posters on the website had good things to say about Aichele, the spirit of which are exemplified by this one: “Her essays are hard but they really teach us how to write well and she's really nice! Best English teacher!”
Other comments, however, revealed hints of the allegations Aichele now faces. One commenter, for example, observed in Jan. 2015 “Great bod!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!11 afterschool help is the bomb!!!!!!! ;);) she sits really close to you and she doesn't care for commitment which means you have a chance ;)”
Another poster warned Aichele was “weirdly intimate with some of the guys in my grade,” that she “brings up sex in class discussions at any chance she can” and that rumors said “she Snapchats and instagram dms students.”
[Photo: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office]