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Ex-teacher gets five to 10 years for sex assault against student

May 4, 2011

BROOKVILLE — A former Brookville Junior-Senior High School math teacher and coach was sentenced to five to 10 years in a state correctional facility after she pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s plea and sentencing court, Judge John H. Foradora sentenced Karin Hetrick, Summerville, to no less than five to a maximum of 10 years in a state correctional facility for the first count of aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age.

Hetrick submitted her resignation to the school board after the mother of the then-15-year-old girl Hetrick was molesting went to police March 25, 2010.

Hetrick’s attorney, Robbie Taylor, and Jeff Burkett, district attorney, negotiated the plea agreement in February as Hetrick pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault Feb. 7.

Taylor said Hetrick has received a lot of help since the plea agreement was announced through counseling, her church, friends and family.

“She is very remorseful,” Taylor said, adding that she is looking forward to undergoing further treatment.

Hetrick said she was sorry for all of the pain and anguish that she has caused.

“God disciplined me and brought me home again,” she said. “I’m forgiven, and I need to be punished.”

Foradora said he received many letters from her friends and family, and the fact that she had no previous record was in her favor when it came time to negotiate the plea.

“I would not have contemplated a lower sentence,” he said. “I would have contemplated a higher sentence because the crime involved a child, and she was a teacher and a coach, which are positions of trust that were violated.”

Foradora said he felt the plea agreement was appropriate, and that under Megan’s Law, Hetrick was not determined to be a sexually-violent predator.

He also sentenced Hetrick to 10 years of probation each to run consecutive on the other two counts.

Foradora said Hetrick was convicted of a sexually-violent offense under Pennsylvania Title 42, and she must attend and successfully complete the Project Point of Light Program.

When she is paroled — and if she moves to another area of the state — she has 48 hours to inform the Pennsylvania State Police of her change of address; 48 hours to register with the state police when she moves to another state; and 14 days to inform the police if she were to change employers.

Foradora said Hetrick should take advantage of the sex offender programs that are available while she is incarcerated.

In addition to attending and successfully completing the Project Point of Light, she may have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 and no computer usage, or she must have a computer monitoring system placed on her computer.

Hetrick may have no contact with the victim and is subject to the standard terms and conditions of persons on probation and sex offender supervision by the Jefferson County Probation Department.

Hetrick was fined $300 on each count, for a total of $900, and must pay $2,540 in restitution to the victim.

According to Brookville Borough Police, Hetrick initially faced charges of aggravated indecent assault; indecent assault; indecent exposure; corruption of minors; obscene and other sexual materials; sexual abuse of children; and unlawful contact with minors for acts committed in Brookville and Union, Clover and Beaver townships from November 2009 to March 22, 2010.

All the other charges were dropped in the plea bargain, except the three indecent aggravated assault charges.

In August 2010, the victim’s mother filed a federal suit against the Brookville Area School District, accusing it of turning a blind eye to the abuse and failing to train its staff in the wake of other sex-abuse cases.

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