A former high school teacher alleged to have had a sexual relationship with her then-17-year-old high school student in Kennebunk, Maine, has been found not guilty on 14 sexual assault charges.
According to the Bangor Daily News, prosecutors this week at the York County Superior Court contended that Jill Lamontagne's relationship with, morphed into "something inappropriate" after starting out as something supportive. Lamontagne was 28 at the time the relationship was said to have started.
"It was no longer academic, it was sexual," Nicholas Heimach, York County assistant district attorney, told the Daily News. "This is about a person in a position of authority taking advantage of a student."
Lamontagne was arrested in December after authorities accused her of having sex with one of her students multiple times since 2017.
Meanwhile, defense lawyer Scott Gardner supported his client, saying that any encounters were merely the sexual "fantasies" of an emotionally disturbed student come to life.
"Jill Lamontagne took the stand because, for the first time in over a year, she had the chance to tell her side of the story," Gardner told the Daily News.
The 12 members of the jury—who reached a verdict in roughly two hours—found 30-year-old Lamontagne not guilty on all charges following three and a half days of testimony.
In an interview with Maine-based news station WGME following the decision, Lamontagne said she felt "relieved" by the jury's verdict and "like a great weight has been lifted off [her] shoulders."
She added that she hopes the student "gets the help he needs, whatever that may be."
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