A married Maine teacher who denied any sexual involvement with a former student since the day she was accused in 2017, was found not guilty on charges on Thursday.
The Press Herald reports that former Kennebunk High School teacher Jill Lamontagne cried openly inside the York County Courthouse when a judge cleared her on 14 charges, including with sexual contact with a student and sex abuse with a minor.
— Tyler Cadorette (@TylerC_WMTW) July 26, 2018
Once she left the courtroom, Lamontagne said that although she was innocent, the fabricated encounters with the student was reported by the media “like they were true,” which made her apprehensive to go about her daily life in her hometown of Kennebunk. She felt hesitant to even stop by a grocery store until she realized there were people out there supporting her.
“I want to thank the community for their support,” she said. “I knew the community was behind me.”
Supporters of Jill Lamontagne and fellow teachers from Kennebunk High School gather outside of York County Superior Court ahead of the start of the former teacher’s trial. Those picketing say this was all due to a fantasy, rumor and Lamontagne is innocent @newscentermaine pic.twitter.com/WaN0UJmOcX
— Katie Bavoso (@KatieBavoso) July 23, 2018
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lamontagne stood accused of having a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old, that included multiple encounters in 2017. The teen said the encounters took place in a classroom closet, at Lamontagne’s house, and in a car.
The student also claimed he skipped graduation and almost took his life the same day, and that Lamontagne previously acted like she had feelings for him.
“I felt like she started to not like me anymore,” the student said on the witness stand.
When Lamontagne took the stand to defend herself, she stated that she helped the student with homework a lot and knew he was going through emotional difficulties. Yet, she adamantly denied engaging in any inappropriate act with the boy, an accusation her defense attorney, Scott Gardner, called “the fantasy of a teen boy, which got out of control.”
Further, Lamontagne had alibis for the two days in question in which the boy accused her of being with him. Lamontagne’s daycare provider and a former colleague testified that the ex-teacher was with them on the days in question.
The student and his family declined to comment after the verdict was read.
[Feature Photo: Jill Lamontagne/Kennebunk Police Department]