ALFRED — Former Kennebunk High school health teacher Jill Lamontagne appeared in court Monday on a motion hearing about whether photos of text messages will be allowed as evidence at her upcoming 14-count sex trial.
Lamontagne, 30, is alleged to have engaged in sex acts with a 17-year-old student.
School authorities have previously said the boy was not one of her students.
Lamontagne’s trial, on six class C felony counts of gross sexual assault, two class D misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact and six class D misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse of a minor, is estimated by the courts to last three days and is set to begin July 23 at York County Superior Court in Alfred.
Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Heimbach, in a court document entitled “demand for notice of alibi” made a request for information on where Lamontagne claimed to be and for witnesses to her whereabouts on May 10 and May 23, when 10 of the 14 counts were alleged to have been committed.
The dates coincide with 10 of the 14 counts outlined in the indictment against her after she pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in December.
The 10 counts over the two days are alleged to have taken place at Lamontagne’s Kennebunk home.
During her Monday appearance, Lamontagne sat quietly in the courtroom as her attorney Scott Gardner and Heimbach met in chambers for nearly an hour with York County Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Moskowitz When they emerged, Lamontagne exited the courtroom to speak with her attorney.
Gardner said the motion hearing on the text messages had been continued until after jury selection, set for July 17. The motion had originally been scheduled to be heard in June.
The motion asks the court to exclude the photos of the texts, and called their credibility into question, asking the court “take judicial notice of the ease at which the identify of a text message sender can be manipulated; and the simplicity of deleting portions of the message.”
The motion goes on to question the timing of the delivery of the photos of the texts to Kennebunk Police — weeks later — according to the motion, and the credibility of the evidence, noting the boy’s mother took the photos of the texts.
Documents in the case from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services have been sealed.
Lamontagne had worked at Kennebunk High School for about five years prior to her September 2017 resignation.
In June, Biddeford District Court Judge Daniel Driscoll ordered Lamontagne to have no contact with the student and granted a request for a protection from abuse order, to be in place for two years.
Documents on file in connection with the protection order allege Lamontagne and the boy had engaged in a number of sex acts, in a classroom, in a car, and at her home.
The boy was admitted to Maine Medical Center in Portland in June 2017 after ingesting ibuprofen, Tylenol, cold medicine and warfarin. In the following days, the student told a nurse he tried to kill himself, “because of a girl,” the documents in the protection from abuse case state.
Gardner spoke to reporters Monday after emerging from the judge’s chambers. He said his client’s life has been “more than disrupted.”
“Her life has been devastated,” said Gardner.
He called the matter a teen fantasy that spread to a rumor.
Gardner said his client had helped the student with his school work so he could graduate.
“This is the fantasy of every high school boy. The fact of the matter is, it just never happened,” Gardner asserted.
Class C felonies carry a maximum prison term of five years, upon conviction. Class D misdemeanors carry a maximum prison term of one year.
Former Kennebunk High School teacher Jill Lamontagne appeared at York County Superior Court in Alfred on Monday for a hearing, but it was continued until July 17, following jury selection for her trial on 14 sex-related charges involving a student. The trial is scheduled to begin July 23. (Tammy Wells/Journal Tribune)