Teacher accused of sex with student appears in court
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley special education teacher accused of having sex with a student made her first court appearance Tuesday.
28-year-old Lianne Trout was a teacher at Mount Whitney High School in Visalia.
Lianne Trout plead "not guilty" to the felony charges.
Prosecutors say despite her resigning from her job as a special education teacher last December she is still trying to make contact with the victim.
28-year-old Lianne Trout said very little to a judge as she made her first court appearance on Tuesday. The former Mount Whitney High School special education teacher is facing five felony counts for having sex with one of her students.
In court prosecutors accused Trout of continuing to try to contact the student, since the allegations of the crimes first came out in December. Trout has since resigned from her teaching position at Mount Whitney High.
"What it's important to realize is the suspect doesn't always have to contact the victim directly sometimes that can happen through a third party," Tulare County District Attorney Shani Jenkins said.
"I can't say anything else as far as what other people are doing but as far as her having contact they didn't give any specifics whatsoever and she denies having contact with the student," Lianne Trout's attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt said.
In court the judge ordered Trout to not have any contact with the victim or she could be placed in jail.
Trout's attorney says his client is innocent and plans on fighting the charges against her. He says the two only had a student-teacher relationship.
"He was a student at the school, we know that, and she did know him but as far as sexual relationship, no," Hammerschmidt said.
Prosecutors paint a different story, saying Lianne Trout and her 16-year old student had a sexual relationship between August of 2011, when she started teaching at Mount Whitney, and December 2011, when police officers and the school got wind of the illegal relationship.
Court documents show Trout had sex with her student on several different occasions including near Casa Grande Restaurant on Mooney Boulevard, at the Fairfield Inn, and even after a high school football game.
"If convicted of everything she faces a prison sentence of 5 years 8 months. Sex registration is not mandatory in this case it's something that the court can impose and we will be asking for it in this case," Jenkins said.
Trout will be back in court in May, where she'll set a date for a pre-trial hearing.
visalia, tulare county, sex crimes, crimetracker, local, jessica peres
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