Teacher sex case negotiations to continue
The case of an alleged sexual relationship between a Squaw Valley teacher and her underage male student was continued Thursday to give the defense and prosecution more time to discuss a negotiated plea.
In a Placer County court room in Tahoe City Thursday, Superior Court Commissioner Trilla Bahrke scheduled an additional settlement conference next month for Christine Johnson.
Johnson, 28, was not present Thursday, but her attorney, William Routsis, said he had spoken with the prosecution about having another conference before setting a date for the preliminary hearing.
“Chris [Cattran] and I are still debating the best way to proceed,” Routsis told Bahrke at Thursday’s conference.
While Johnson is not required to attend a settlement conference, her presence would be mandatory at the preliminary hearing, Placer Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran said in a previous interview.
Known to her friends and students as Christi, Johnson pleaded not guilty on June 26 to a felony charge of unlawful sex with a minor and two misdemeanor charges of providing alcohol to minors.
She taught history and a Scholastic Aptitude Test preparation class during the 2006-07 school year at Squaw Valley Academy, a private boarding school with more than 100 middle and high school students.
Colleagues and students described Johnson as a great teacher with a strong resume, including a master’s degree, California teaching credential and years of classroom experience before the academy hired her.
She was arrested at her Squaw Valley residence in May following allegations of sexual behavior with a 17-year-old male student and reports to both the school and Placer County Sheriff’s detectives.
Johnson no longer teaches at the private school and has since returned to Missouri.
The identity of the male student is protected because he is a minor and because he is the possible victim of a sex crime.
The next settlement hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, when a preliminary hearing will likely be set.
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