A female Livermore high school teacher has pleaded no contest to nine felony counts for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old male student from December 2010 to May 2011. Marie Johnson, 43, who taught math at Granada High School, entered her plea on Tuesday and is scheduled to be sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gary Picetti on May 15. She remains in custody at the Alameda County Jail in lieu of $950,000 bail.
Johnson, who was placed on administrative leave after she was arrested at the school on Jan. 11, 2012, initially was charged with 24 felony counts but an amended complaint reduced that total to nine counts. Livermore police Detective Joseph Draghi said in a probable cause arrest warrant filed in court that when police interviewed Johnson she “admitted to committing the above-listed violations,” referring to the charges against her.
The charges to which Johnson pleaded no contest include unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16, oral copulation of a person under 16 and performing lewd acts on a child. Draghi said the victim told a high school coach on Jan. 10, 2012, that “he was a victim of repeated molestation” and the student “provided a detailed statement of a long term sexual relationship with Johnson.
” Livermore police spokesman Steve Goard said authorities believe that Johnson began having sex with the boy shortly after he finished taking a class from her in December 2010 and sexually assaulted the boy 24 times over a six-month period. Police believe the alleged sexual assaults occurred in Johnson’s car and in other undisclosed locations in Livermore, according to Goard.
Investigators believe Johnson and the boy formed their relationship through text messages, social networking on Facebook and instant messaging on a smartphone application called “Words with Friends,” Goard said. Johnson’s attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, was unavailable for comment today.
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