A teacher was sentenced to five years in jail after she was found guilty of sexually assaulting a student. Lauren Coyle-Mitchell, 36, had s*x with a 15-year-old girl from Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School in Jersey City, back in 2015.
The affair began when the teacher started to send raunchy texts to the teenager. She also admitted that it became ‘emotionally and morally damaging’. She also confessed of performing oral s*x on the girl at her home.
At a plea hearing at the Superior Court in Hackensack, on Wednesday (31 July), Coyle-Mitchell’s attorney John Latoracca asked her: “Do you acknowledge that these acts were emotionally and morally damaging to this woman?”
She replied: “Yes.”
Rather than go through a trial, Coyle-Mitchell pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
As part of the plea bargain, she will serve a minimum of five years in prison and will be eligible for parole in four years and three months. However, she will be under lifetime parole supervision. She will also be registered as a s*x offender under Megan’s Law.
The former school teacher was initially arrested after colleagues reported witnessing ‘inappropriate contact’ between Coyle-Mitchell and the pupil. She was later released on a $150,000 bail.
After being charged by police in June 2015, Coyle-Mitchell attempted to clear her name. In a post on Facebook, she wrote: “Tragic accusations have been brought up against me. They are not true, and my name will be cleared.”
She was then arrested for a second time on a charge of contempt of court after having attempted to contact the victim.
According to the prosecutors, the girl received two phone calls from a restricted number and a one-word text message, which consisted of Coyle-Mitchell’s ‘pet name’ for the teen.
In mitigation for her actions, Coyle-Mitchell’s lawyer said she was suffering from an anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder at the time.