Christine Knudsen, the 46-year-old teacher who was involved in a physical relationship with a 17-year-old female student evaded prison after her former students sent letters supporting her.
Hailing from New Jersey was given three-year suspended sentence. She has been placed on life-long parole and has been banned from contacting the victim.
Disgraced Teacher Placed on Lifelong Parole
Daily Mail reported that the former Graphic Arts at the Fair Lawn High School, developed the sexual relationship with her then-17 year old student in 2017. Knudsen initiated contact with the victim after assuming control of the school's drama club. After being caught the disgraced teacher admitted that they were involved both romantically and sexually for eleven months beginning in January 2017.
The outlet reported that Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Bollenbach said that Knudsen's suspended sentence follows a series of letters from her former Fair Lawn High School students, detailing the positive impact she had on their lives.
Teacher To Have No Contact With the Victim
During the sentencing on Wednesday, Bergen County Judge Nina Remson said that parents send their kids to school every day, trusting they will be safe in the care of their teachers.
"And there is a very strong need to deter not only Ms. Knudsen, but all citizens from violations of the law, especially in this nature involving a breach of trust between the teacher and the student," the judge went on to add. Knudsen will only be sent to prison should she violate her parole, the outlet stated.
The sentencing came nearly six months after the 46-year-old pleaded guilty. "You are hereby sentenced to three years in New Jersey State Prison to be suspended,' said Judge adding that the former teacher has been barred from the victim's residence, school, place of employment and prohibited from having any oral, written, personal, telephonic, electronic or any other form of contact with the victim.
"And you're prohibited for making or causing anyone to make any harassing communications with the victim, from stalking, from threatening the victim. You've already surrendered you're teaching certificate, which is ordered as part of this sentence,' added Remson.