A former California middle school teacher is heading to trial after she admitted to having sex with a student she initially blamed for instigating the relationship, and who later outed the married woman by posting nude photos of her online.
A judge ruled Tuesday that Justine Nelson, 30, will stand trial for allegedly engaging in sex acts with a 13-year-old boy she met in the hallway of Tenaya Middle School, KFSN-TV reported. Nelson was arrested in September 2016 and charged with multiple sex crimes.
Police began investigating the former teacher after the eighth-grader posted nude photos of the woman on social media.
“[The student] said they were sexually naked pictures,” Fresno police officer Malcolm Walls said
The boy now 14, told Police “He wasn’t sure he should say anything because Mrs. Nelson told him if he did it would ruin her family life and his sports career.”
Justine met the boy at Tenaya Middle school School in Fresno, Calif where she was employed as a teacher. The boy was not in her class, she accosted him in the hallway and started chatting him up
The teen told police he didn’t have Nelson as a teacher and only started talking to her when she approached him last year.
“He said Mrs. Nelson walked up to him one day and asked him why he never talked to her, and said that he was cute,” Walls said.
The teen claimed he and Nelson fooled around, initially kissing before it progressed to sex, until he turned 14.
Although she admitted to two or three sex acts, nelson initially told investigators the boy actually initiated it and even coerced her to do it by threatening to ruin her career and have her baby taken away.
But Nelson later changed her story, telling police she was sending notes to the student professing her love for him.
Detectives said Nelson admitted to lapses in judgment and even sending the boy notes about how she loved him.The teen said he’s the one who was really afraid.
“He was scared,” Walls said. “He wasn’t sure he should say anything because Mrs. Nelson told him if he did it would ruin her family life and his sports career.”
A judge ruled Tuesday there’s enough evidence for Nelson to stand trial. If she’s convicted she faces up to 14 years in prison, although if prosecutors can’t prove the boy was 13 when it all started, that’d go down to no more than nine years