A former special education teacher Rene Elena Carter in Montana had sex with a student roughly 25 times, including illicit trysts in her classroom, th
A former special education teacher Rene Elena Carter in Montana had sex with a student roughly 25 times, including illicit trysts in her classroom, the teen told authorities.
The allegations made by a former student at Capital High School in Helena regarding his ex-teacher, Rene Elena Carter, were revealed after a judge ordered city officials to release them on Tuesday, the Helena Independent Record reports.
The school’s principal, Brett Zanto, first notified authorities in June 2015 that Carter and the teen, then 17, were caught having inappropriate physical contact in a stairwell at the school earlier that month. City officials and county attorneys reviewed the footage but claimed it didn’t show any sexual contact between the student and Carter.
“I am aware that the school district did investigate on its own to see if there was any evidence to support that,” Helena Public Schools Superintendent Jack Copps told KRTV. “The district did not find any at that time and referred the matter to the police department, and they investigated with the same results.”
A detective later interviewed the teen, who initially denied having any sexual contact with the teacher. Investigators then considered the case closed pending new information.
A relative of the student later told Helena police in 2016 that she knew about the teen’s inappropriate relationship with Carter. She also claimed that the teen knew personal details about the teacher that “he shouldn’t have known about,” according to the newspaper.
Carter’s husband, meanwhile, told a detective that the teen was an “unbelievable parasite” who required inordinate amounts of Carter’s time. The teen also pinched her arms and pulled her hair, causing her to need “extensive counseling due to PTSD,” Carter’s husband alleged.
The teacher also spoke with a detective by phone and told the investigator she intended to report the abuse, but felt like she might need an attorney.
The teen has claimed he and Carter had a sexual relationship starting in 2015. The age of consent in Montana is 16, but the student was legally incapable of giving consent, according to the newspaper, which declined to elaborate to avoid identifying the alleged victim.
Carter and the teen “kind of planned on getting together once he turned 18, but they never did,” he told a detective. The teen also claimed that he had occasionally sent Carter money, court documents show.
The student also provided investigators with detailed identifying information about Carter, who later “stipulated to the facts and evidence” sought by a detective in a search warrant.
Carter — who was nominated for Helena Educator of the Year in 2015, according to the Helena Independent Record — has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual intercourse without consent. She resigned her post in July 2015 and her trial is expected to begin in December. If convicted, she faces a minimum of two years in prison and up to 100 years behind bars.