Teacher who had sex with teen sentenced

Woman gets three years of supervised probation

February 25, 2010|By Andrea F. Siegel

An Anne Arundel teacher was placed on three years of supervised probation Wednesday after admitting that she had a sexual relationship with a student for most of last year.

Kristyn N. Breeds, 29, who was a special-education teacher and indoor track coach at Northeast High School in Pasadena, pleaded guilty to one count of a fourth-degree sex offense, a misdemeanor. Under terms of the plea, she was offered probation before judgment, which would allow her to seek to have the criminal record expunged in six years, and she was fined about $200.

"The bottom line from me is that this relationship was inappropriate and unacceptable, but most importantly, it was illegal," Annapolis District Judge Thomas J. Pryal told her.

"It cannot continue," he said, alluding to prosecutors' accusation that Breeds and the 17-year-old boy had contact after her Jan. 14 arrest despite Pryal ordering her to stay away from him as a condition of her pretrial release from jail. The detective in the case reported seeing them following each other in separate cars in early February in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle D. Smith said.

Pryal threatened to jail Breeds if she pursues the student. The maximum punishment for a fourth-degree sex offense is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Smith said the youth chose to skip the hearing. The plea deal was made so that he would not have to testify and the case could end swiftly while he heals emotionally, she said.

Breeds, formerly of Severna Park, sat stiffly and looked downward during much of the hearing. She apologized to parents, the "school community," students and athletes.

"My apologies and regrets can't come near the statements made by Mrs. McDonald," she said, referring to the student's mother, who lashed out at her in remarks in and out of the courtroom.

The Baltimore Sun does not name victims of sexual abuse. His mother agreed to allow her name to be published.

Celeste McDonald said she grew suspicious last spring of the relationship her son had with Breeds, whom he had known since his freshman year. Her questions elicited denials from Breeds, but the teacher bought a second cell phone to pursue the secret relationship, McDonald said.

"She got my son to lie to his entire family," McDonald said. She said Breeds was manipulative and hurt her son, but the family is emerging from this ordeal closer.

"If you only had just an inkling of what he is going through," McDonald said. "I had to withdraw him from high school because of the stigma on him," she said later, adding that community college enrollment is allowing him to finish high school and start college early. "He will thrive."

Defense attorney Thomas C. Morrow said his client lost the trust of many people, her teaching career, and will lose her teacher certification. She is being treated for depression and is in counseling, he said.

"She and the student became emotionally involved and that overran her judgment and was self-destructive," he said.

Police said the relationship lasted from March through December, when rumors brought it to light.

Breeds was pulled from the classroom on Jan. 4, and suspended when charged 10 days later with three counts of a fourth-degree sex offense. School officials will move to fire the former nominee for teacher of the year. When the teenager was questioned by police he initially tried to protect Breeds, Smith said. According to charging documents, Breeds told police that she and the 17-year-old had sex at the park-and-ride lot on Leelyn Drive in Severna Park, at her Severna Park home and at Queenstown Park.

"If there is one thing I can tell families out there, it's to hold your children close," McDonald said.

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