ST. ALBANS, Vermont — A Vermont educator is accused of sending nude photos of herself to a 10-year-old student. She was arraigned Tuesday, February 28th — and has pleaded not guilty.
“Sometimes you just can’t fathom where people are coming from,” Winton Goodrich, superintendent of the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union said.
Police said Jodie Spears, a paraeducator at Highgate Elementary School in Highgate Center, Vermont sent nude photos of herself to a 10-year-old boy in February.
“It’s a really disturbing affidavit to read,” Jim Hughes, Franklin County prosecutor said.
Spears is facing a felony charge of lewd and lascivious conduct. This, after the boy’s mother allegedly found messages and explicit photos he received from Spears on his Instagram account.
“It’s an attempt, it looks like, to have a peer-to-peer relationship and again — that’s disturbing,” Hughes said.
Court documents show Spears also allegedly told the boy she loved him and planned to get him a gift for Valentine’s Day — and she would hug him inside the school he attends — where she works.
Spears is now on paid leave from the school.
“She will not be in the school until we complete the investigation, and she may not be as well after that,” Goodrich said.
She allegedly once told the victim he should have come over while her boyfriend was out plowing snow for the night.
“This is an individual that needs an opportunity to tell her side of the case and we look forward to that opportunity,” Jessica Burke, Spears’ attorney said.
Police allege Spears knew her alleged actions were wrong. They say she asked the boy to erase messages she sent him.
Investigators searched her home and phone, and screenshots of her conversation with the boy are now evidence in court.
Spears was arrested on Monday night, February 27th. Prosecutors said she could face additional charges. She’s currently free on $5,000 bond.