A 39-year-old teacher in New York is accused of raping a 13-year-old student whom she was tutoring outside of school, authorities say.
Kristin M. Bellinger was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one count of second-degree rape, a Class D felony.
Bellinger Accused of Having Sex with the Boy While She was Tutoring Him
According to a press release from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Bellinger, of Johnstown, was accompanied by her attorney when she surrendered herself to investigators after the issuance of an arrest warrant on the rape charge.
Bellinger is accused of having sexual intercourse with the juvenile male over a period of time in 2019, as reported by the Daily Gazette. She was providing at home tutoring to the child outside of her then-role as a special education teacher with the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District, deputies said.
The minor student first reported the alleged sexual interactions with Bellinger to administrators at HFM BOCES. Administrators acted "immediately" to address the issue and contacted law enforcement authorities, the student's family, and the New York State Department of Education, Dr. David Ziskin, the District Superintendent at HFM BOCES, reportedly told the outlet.
Bellinger Fired Following Her Arrest
Bellinger, who is no longer employed by the district, was immediately placed on leave after the minor victim came forward, the superintendent said.
"After these disturbing allegations were brought to our attention, we took immediate steps to address them and cooperated fully with law enforcement," Ziskin said in a prepared statement emailed to Law&Crime. "We thank the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office for their assistance in this matter. HFM BOCES will continue to aid law enforcement in every way we can."
Following her arrest, Bellinger appeared in Glen Town Court before Judge James M. Law. She was released from custody after posting bond of $15,000. Bellinger is scheduled to reappear in Glen Town Court at a later date. Members of Montgomery County Sheriff's Office were assisted by the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center and Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond.