Hot to Trot Teach Gets Probation After Having Romance with Lucky 7th Grader

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from – A former teacher will have an opportunity to erase charges that she had a romantic relationship with a seventh-grader at Reynolds Middle School.

Christina Layser was accepted Friday into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, meaning she can have the sex charges dismissed if she obeys the program for the next seven months.

Lancaster city police allege that Layser had unlawful contact with a 13-year-old student, including kissing, touching and the exchange of love letters.

The incidents occurred in the math teacher’s classroom and in a bathroom after school hours between October and Dec. 21 of 2011, according to police.

At a preliminary hearing last year, the student testified that he believed Layser, 37, to be his girlfriend. He and the teacher told each other, “I love you,” the boy testified.

Layser, a married mother of two children, appeared again in court Friday morning.

She said little during the brief hearing that ended with Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker accepting her into the ARD program.

The program regiment will include probation, 75 hours of community service, and a $650 processing fee, prosecutor James Reeder explained. The program runs through Aug. 1.

ARD resolutions are common in DUI cases and other lower-level crimes, but relatively rare in felony cases such as Layser’s.

However, as explained by prosecutor James Reeder, the case comes down to the victim’s word alone. There were no eyewitnesses to the alleged crimes.

“This is basically a he-said she-said case,” Reeder said on Friday afternoon. “It would be based solely on the jury’s evaluation of the (victim’s) credibility.”

The victim and his family have since moved out of state, but were willing to return for a trial, Reeder noted.

Meanwhile, Layser has maintained her innocence.

“Ms. Layser has constantly and adamantly denied any wrongdoing in this case,” defense attorney Terrence McGowan told the judge, “and will continue to do so.”

Reinaker said he was hesitant to accept Layser into the program, considering the severe charges that include two felonies. However, the judge said, he knows the attorneys well and trusts their judgment.

“If there is any truth to these allegations,” Reinaker told Layser, “you need to understand the serious consequences that would [typically] come along in a case like this.”

The judge explained that if Layser doesn’t follow the program, she faces criminal prosecution.

Layser was the second School District of Lancaster teacher to be recently charged with sex crimes.

The other, Christy Smith, was convicted last year of having sex with two high school students. She is serving a 20-to-40-year prison term.

Reeder noted that the two cases are very different.

No skin-to-skin contact, aside from kissing, is alleged between Layser and her accuser.

Also, there were numerous witnesses that testified at Smith’s trial about her contact with the student-victims.

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