A female former Livermore high school teacher was sentenced today to three years in state prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old male student from December 2010 to May 2011. However, Marie Johnson, 42, who taught math at Granada High School, will be released from custody today because she’s been in jail since she was arrested on Jan. 11, 2012, and is being given extra credits for the time she’s already served, prosecutor Glenn Kim said.
Johnson initially was charged with 24 felony counts but an amended complaint reduced that total to nine counts. She pleaded no contest on April 16 to those counts, which included 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. The length of Johnson’s sentence was left up to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Hurley, who sent her to Chowchilla State Prison for 90 days for a diagnostic study to determine whether it would be appropriate for her to be placed in prison.
Kim said he argued that Johnson should receive a five-year prison term but Hurley ultimately decided that three years would be appropriate. He said Hurley took into consideration the comments the victim in the case made at a previous court hearing on May 15. Johnson was placed on administrative leave after she was arrested and resigned earlier this year during her dismissal process, according to school officials.
Kim said Johnson has given up her teaching credentials and also will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, which he said makes it unlikely that she would ever be hired as a teacher. Johnson admitted to having sex with the male student when police interviewed her after she was arrested, according to a probable cause statement by Livermore police Detective Joseph Draghi.
Draghi said the victim told a high school coach on Jan. 10, 2012, that he was a victim of repeated molestation and provided a detailed statement about his “long term” sexual relationship with Johnson. Authorities alleged 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.
Authorities believe the alleged sexual assaults occurred in Johnson’s car and in other undisclosed locations in Livermore, according to Livermore police spokesman Steve 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, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment on the case today.
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