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Ex-teacher pleads guilty in assault

February 10, 2011

BROOKVILLE — In a plea bargain negotiated by her attorney and the district attorney, a former Brookville Junior-Senior High School math teacher and coach pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault Monday.

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

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 the 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.

The Jeffersonian Democrat said Judge John Foradora accepted the plea negotiated between District Attorney Jeff Burkett and defense attorney Robbie Taylor.

Under the plea bargain, Hetrick faces a minimum of five years to a maximum of 10 years at a state correctional institute on the first two charges, the newspaper said. For the second and third charges, she could be sentenced to two consecutive 10 years of probation.

Hetrick will not be sentenced until she undergoes a Megan’s Law evaluation to determine if she is a sexual predator, the Democrat said. However, those evaluations can take up to three months to complete.

When Taylor asked Foradora that Hetrick be released on bail, Burkett said any normal person facing five years of incarceration may flee, even though he acknowledged nothing suggested that Hetrick might flee, the newspaper said.

Foradora said he was imposing a $100,000 cash bond, concerned Hetrick might be a threat to herself.

When Taylor asked Foradora to consider a $10,000 cash bond, Burkett said he had knowledge that Hetrick had been depressed. Taylor replied Hetrick had been seeing a counselor for the last seven months.

Foradora rejected Taylor’s appeal, saying that Hetrick spending some time in the Jefferson County jail would allow her to “get in the mind set of an institution,” the Democrat said.

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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