ALFRED — A York County jury is now deciding the fate of a former Kennebunk High School Teacher charged with sexually assaulting her student.

The former student, who was 17 years old at the time, testified in the four-day trial that he and Jill Lamontagne had sexual relations multiple times at the school and at her home. Lamontagne took the stand Wednesday to deny any sexual relationship and say her phone calls and text messages with the boy were all part of her efforts to help him graduate.

Lamontagne, 30, is being tried on 14 counts: six Class C felony charges of gross sexual assault involving an individual over whom she had instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority; two Class D misdemeanor charges of unlawful sexual contact; and six Class D misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse of a minor.

Closing arguments in the 14-count criminal case against the teacher wound down shortly after noon.

Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Heimbach reviewed the testimony that painted a picture of a relationship that started with a teacher helping a student – but then changed.

“This is not just about sex, but about power, authority and manipulation, ” Heimbach told the jury. “This is about a female defendant and a male victim. This is about a 28-year old adult — a mentor, life coach, a school ‘Mom’ in a position of authority — who manipulated and took advantage of a 17-year-old.”

Lamontagne is accused of sexually assaulting the alleged victim after she began assisting him with his school work so he could graduate that year. He is now 19, and testified earlier this week that he and Lamontagne had engaged in a sex acts in a closet in her classroom and in her home. He testified that he believed the two were in love.

“It is preposterous to think that Jill Lamontagne would destroy her career, and destroy her family to run away with a 17-year-old,” said Lamontagne’s defense attorney Scott Gardner in his closing arguments.

Gardner pointed out that on the two occasions the alleged victim said sex acts took place in Lamontagne’s home, a former colleague and her children’s daycare provider testified she was with them.

Gardner also noted that the alleged victim’s family had filed civil papers regarding the allegations.

“This trial is the first step to what could be a big payday for (the alleged victim’s) family,” Gardner said.

Before closing arguments, Lamontagne was cross-examined Thursday morning by Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan and acknowledged that she had driven the boy to his home or other locations four times in the spring of 2017.

She also testified that she did not drive any student after she returned to school that spring following a week of administrative leave. She resumed work after an internal investigation into a rumor about their relationship had concluded without action.

Lamontagne also testified Thursday that she was concerned about the boy’s emotional state and alleged substance abuse. When McGettigan pressed the former teacher why she didn’t refer the boy to other school counselors, Lamontagne said she knew the boy didn’t get along with the school social worker so she sought the social worker’s advice and then worked with the teen herself.

She admitted she hadn’t called the boy’s parents to express her concerns, but said she did speak to his father on one occasion and told him she was helping his son.

 


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