Heather Winfield

Teen student said special ed. teacher started sexually assaulting him at age 11, had sex around 100 times: Court

A 14-year-old student has testified against a former special education teacher in Michigan, claiming their illicit relationship began when he was 11 and that they had sex more than 100 times.

The Alpena News reported that Heather Winfield, 33, will stand trial following a three-day preliminary examination which included testimony from law enforcement and her teen accuser. Police claimed that bank statements showed Winfield had rented 16 hotels in a three-month period, presumably to have sex with the boy.

Moreover, police corroborated an alleged encounter between the boy and Thunder Bay Junior High teacher at his grandmother’s home using receipts and bank records. According to the newspaper, he claimed Winfield came over after making a purchase at a local adult entertainment store; police stated they matched the items Winfield purchased with the boy’s descriptions.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

Both the boy and Winfield’s phones were analyzed by police and reportedly produced an image of the partially-nude teacher, a short video of the boy pulling up her shirt and bra, and an ultrasound the boy claimed Winfield sent him suggesting she was pregnant. However, the defense challenged the ultrasound picture’s validity as it also included part of a Google search bar.

Winfield is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with child younger than 13 years old, first-degree criminal sexual conduct during the commission of a felony, third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child aged 13 to 15 years old, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child younger than 13 years old, accosting a minor for immoral purposes, and using a computer to commit a crime. A court date is pending.

The defense unsuccessfully pushed to have the case dismissed, arguing that the victim was an unreliable witness. In doing so, they called attention to previous statements allegedly made by the boy, where he claimed he and Winfield had sex with other people in the room and alleged they had sex 1,000 times since 2016, but later changed the number to 100.

The judge ultimately agreed that the boy had provided contradictory statements but said authorities presented compelling evidence which warrants a criminal trial.

“If I only had to judge on the boy’s testimony and nothing else, I would toss this case and have no problem doing it, because of the exaggeration he indicated,” Judge Thomas LaCross said, according to The Alpena News.

“But we have evidence that substantiates and corroborates his circumstantial evidence that there was an improper relationship between two troubled people. Are his exaggerations to be believed? Absolutely not. But does that mean we aren’t to believe anything? No, no, no.”

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Featured image: Heather Winfield/Michigan State Police]