A high school teacher in Maine who for months faced rumors of having a sexual relationship with a student is now facing criminal charges.
Jill Lamontagne, 29, was indicted Tuesday on 14 sexual assault charges, including six counts of gross sexual assault, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, Chief Robert MacKenzie of the Kennebunk Police Department said. She’s also charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of unlawful sexual contact, both Class D misdemeanors.
The charges came nearly four months after the then-17-year-old tried to commit suicide “because of a girl,” according to a copy of a protection order obtained by the Portland Press Herald. The document does not specify the identity of the girl, though it said that the teen told family members he loved Lamontagne and that they had sex multiple times.
Investigators in Kennebunk, a small coastal town in the southern part of Maine, were first alerted of a possible sexual relationship between a teacher and a student in April, but they were unable to corroborate the allegations, MacKenzie said. The case was revisited sometime between late spring and early summer, when investigators received additional information. MacKenzie said he’s unable to comment on what that information is.
The teen, who is now 18, said that the sexual encounters happened in the classroom, in Lamontagne’s house and in her car, and that he told friends about the relationship while he was drunk, documents say. He also said he does not want Lamontagne to go to jail. The Washington Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Scott Gardner, Lamontagne’s attorney, was not available for comment Thursday afternoon, but he told the Press Herald that the allegations were merely high school rumors based on the “fantasies of an emotionally troubled” teen.
“The charges are completely untrue, period,” Gardner said.
The teen was hospitalized June 9 after he had ingested a mixture of Tylenol, ibuprofen, cold medicine and Warfarin, a blood thinner. The following day, he told relatives that rumors about his relationship with Lamontagne were true and that he was “sorry for all the bad things he did,” according to court documents.
Later that month, a judge granted the protection order, which barred Lamontagne, who is married with children, from having any contact with the teen.
Lamontagne turned herself in Wednesday and is out on bail, MacKenzie said.
She taught health at Kennebunk High School for five years, according to Seacoastonline.com.
District Superintendent Katie Hawes did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday, but Seacoastonline.com reported that Lamontagne was placed on leave in April, when school officials first learned of the allegations. She went back to work, but was placed on leave again June 12, three days after the teen was hospitalized. She resigned last month.
Lamontagne is scheduled to appear in court in December. Gardner, the defense attorney, said she intends to plead not guilty.