An Ohio teen professed her devotion to a former special education teacher facing prison time for sex acts with her, saying she’s “completely in love” and never felt pressured into getting intimate.
The female student — who police in Montgomery said was 17 years old when she engaged in sex acts last summer with Jennifer Walsh, a 27-year-old former teacher at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati – told a judge that she never “felt forced or coerced” in the sexual relationship they had, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“I know in my heart that I am completely in love with this woman, without a doubt,” the student told Hamilton County Judge Jody Luebbers, adding that their romance was “willing, on both ends.”
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Walsh resigned in October after police got a tip about the educator, who also coached girls’ lacrosse at the school. The former teacher became emotional and cried in court as the student testified Wednesday, the newspaper reports.
The lead investigator in the case, meanwhile, also asked Luebbers for leniency, saying the circumstances surrounding Walsh and the student were unique and that their mutual affection was genuine.
“This relationship, I believe, was actually real,” Montgomery police Detective Steve Hoy told Luebbers. “It will probably continue to be real.”
Walsh pleaded guilty in June to gross sexual imposition and faces up to 18 months in prison. But Luebbers said she wasn’t ready to hand down a sentence Wednesday after hearing testimony from the teen, the lead detective and Walsh’s mother.
“I just need … more time,” Luebbers said without elaborating before delaying Walsh’s sentencing until Friday.