A married special education teacher from Rochester, Mich. has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after she allegedly had sex off school grounds with students.
Kathryn Houghtaling, 26, was arraigned on Friday and entered a plea of not guilty. The police officer in charge of the case said, however, that drugs and alcohol were involved in the allegations, and that Houghtaling had illicit sexual relationships with two students — 16- and 17-year-old boys.
Houghtaling has already been fired. She was accused of having sex with two students in an apartment and a car, 7 Action News reported.
Rochester High School officials were quick to react to the allegations, saying, “As soon as the District learned of the alleged incidents on Tuesday, an investigation was conducted, which resulted in Houghtaling’s immediate termination.”
“The safety and welfare of our students and staff is always our primary concern. We are thankful for our partnership with the Rochester Police Department, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, and our security consultants who provide us with the necessary guidance to make informed decisions. The District fully cooperated with law enforcement officials throughout the investigation,” the school continued. “In order to protect the integrity of the criminal investigation process, the District did not publicly disclose any information that could have a negative impact on the case while the investigation was pending. Rochester Community Schools is committed to providing a safe, positive, and supportive learning environment for every student. District personnel are required to meet the highest standards of personal integrity, professionalism, and performance. Employees whose conduct or performance falls short of expectations will be subject to disciplinary action, or in this case, termination.”
Houghtaling was reportedly hired in August 2018, so her time of employment at the school was brief. Her deleted Facebook account said that she is married. The page reportedly “paint[ed] a picture of an ideal, suburban life.” Neighbors were “astonished” by the news and said Houghtaling should be “embarrassed.”
“It’s absolutely disgusting,” Bart Fox said.
Houghtaling faces up to 15 years behind bars.
[Image via Scales of Justice/YouTube screengrab]