Shelby NC Aug 31 2010 Nicole Chapman slipped from her seat in the very back of the courtroom to stand beside her lawyer, Katherine Haen, when her name was called during court proceedings Monday morning.
The former North Shelby School teacher was arrested in May and charged with indecent liberties with a student and sex offense with a student.
The 19-year-old student she allegedly had a relationship with sat near the front of the courtroom, dressed in a green t-shirt and khaki shorts. He sat up straighter when Chapman was called to the front.
Chapman, 29, stood with her hands behind her back as the prosecution read the charges against her. She was neatly dressed, her sleek blond hair styled in a short bob.
Court officials said between April and May, while she was a teacher at North Shelby, Chapman began a sexual relationship with the student.
The state offered Chapman a plea to the two separate charges against her, both felonies, according to Haen.
Chapman has not made a decision yet, Haen said Monday afternoon.
The prosecution told the court Chapman was more than forth coming with police about the relationship.
Police said Chapman had a sexual relationship with the teen. North Shelby School is a school for students with varying degrees of physical and mental challenges.
“This is an unusual case a rare case, fortunately, in this county,” said Haen. “From my understanding, it was consensual.”
Chapman’s lawyer said she had heard from the student’s mother that morning before court and both the victim and his family wanted to speak.
Previously, the 19-year-old student told The Star that he was not a victim.
“I love her,” he declared.
When Shelby Police arrived to arrest Chapman they found her at the student’s home, and according to the report, Chapman kissed him good bye when she left with the officers.
The teen’s mother also defended Chapman, saying her son was not a victim and he was not in Chap-man’s classroom.
“He knows what he’s doing,” she previously told The Star. “He’s responsible.”
Chapman was released from jail on a $75,000 secured bond three days after her arrest.
During the proceedings Monday, Haen said she would like a short sentencing hearing. Haen said she wanted to clear the courtroom to allow the family and the teen to speak without media attention. She said she was concerned public opinion would affect the district attorney.
“I intend to follow the law. Not public opinion,” replied Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lari.
Chapman’s sentencing hearing is scheduled the first week in Nov.
“I think these charges are unique,” said Judge James W. Morgan.
Chapman and her lawyer briefly talked in whispers and then Chapman left the courtroom.
The student left the court room with a woman. He kept his gaze straight ahead and refused to comment.
When asked if he was still seeing Chapman, he shook his head no.
Chapman also declined to comment.
Source:The Star Newspaper