Reminiscent of the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, a former schoolteacher pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault for the "consensual" sexual relationship she had with an eighth-grade student at the school where she taught, The Daily Mail reported.
On Tuesday, Lindsey Massaro admitted in open court that she knew the boy was 15-years-old when the weeklong sexual relationship began.
The case came to the attention of law enforcement after the victim's father filed a complaint about his son having an "ongoing sexual relationship" with Massaro, an eighth-grade student teacher at Frankford Elementary School. It is not known how the father became aware of the sexual relationship.
During a videotaped interview with New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Howard Brown and Detective Sgt. Donald Peter of the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office, Massaro admitted to having what she called a consensual sexual relationship with the boy on several occasions, the latest being days before her arrest. Massaro told Brown the two performed sexual acts on one another in her vehicle at one time, according to NJ.com.
Then she admitted to picking the boy up from his Branchville home On March 27 and driving him to her Morris Avenue home in Frankford, where they engaged in sexual intercourse "several times" in her bedroom before she drove him back to Branchville.
Massaro, who was a senior at Centenary College in Hackettstown when the sexual relationship began, was arrested several days later and originally charged with second-degree sexual assault, third degree endangering the welfare of a minor and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, The Star-Ledger reported.
The plea agreement Massaro reached with prosecutors involved her pleading guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault with prosecutors agreeing to a four-year prison sentence with parole supervision for life versus the 46 ½-years Massaro could have faced if she went to trial, The Express Times reported.
Upon receiving Massaro's guilty plea, Superior Court Judge N. Peter Conforti asked the 25-year-old former teacher if she realized her plea meant she would be "certain" to serve prison time.
Massaro responded, "Yes."
Massaro, who has been free on $75,000 bail since her 2009 arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation to determine if there was a "pattern of repetitive and compulsive behavior," on her part, The Star-Ledger reported.
If found to be a compulsive offender, Judge Conforti said Massaro would be sentenced to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel and the state parole board would have to approve her release.
"You could spend more time in treatment than in state prison," Judge Conforti warned her.
Immediately following her arrest, Braden Hirsch, Superintendent of Frankford Schools, announced that the school severed all ties with Massaro, who taught an eighth-grade class, five days per week during the spring term. In 2008, Massaro was a sixth-grade student teacher one day per week at Great Meadows Middle School in Independence, The New Jersey Herald reported. There have been no additional reports of Massaro having sexual or otherwise inappropriate relations with students from Great Meadows, where Superintendent Jason Bing said Massaro did a "wonderful job" there and completed her practicum.
Massaro joined a list of more than 15 teachers nationwide involved in teacher/student sex scandals in 2009:
* Lauren Breslin, Vineland, N.J.
* Christine McCallum of Boston, Mass.
* Lisa Lavoie of Holyoke, Mass.
* Christy Lynn Martin, St. Petersburg, Fla.
* Linda Nef and Valynne Bowers, Bountiful, Utah
* Sarah L. Tolzien, Richton Park, Ill.
* Autumn Faulkner, Randolph County, WV
* Kristina Anna Baeta, Union City, Calif,
* Reanna Jewell, Apache Junction, Ariz.
* Jennifer Lea Burton, Orangefield, Texas
* Tamara Hofmann, Chandler, Ariz
* Jennifer Marie Collier, Jacksonville, Fla.
* Gina Marie Watring, Durham, N.C.
* Alison M. Peck, Greenfield, Mo.
* Maria Guman Hernandez, Hialeah, Fla.
* Amy Elsworth & Brian Drake, Waterford, Mich.
* Amanda Watkins, Muscle Shoals, Ala.