Twenty-five-year-old Nicole Howell, of Covington, Kentucky, turned herself in to police Tuesday morning and is charged with sexually abusing a student. Howell works as an English teacher at Dayton High School. Court records state that the 16-year-old (“J.S.”) told police the relationship began after the teacher invited him to her Covington apartment after a football game. The attorney for the teacher however says the allegations are not true.(Source: WCPO)
Court records go on to say the teen “stated that he has been to the defendant’s residence and has had similar sexual encounters with her on four to five different occasions.”
During an interview with police, Howell “admitted that she had several phone conversations as well as conversations via text messaging which occurred after school hours and on the weekend.” “My client has acknowledged to myself and the police that she exercised poor judgment here in terms of conversations but poor judgment does not constitute a crime,” said Patrick Moves, Nicole Howell’s Attorney. Howell was apparently willing to take a polygraph test. She has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.
Update! Nicole Howell Acquitted!
In October, 2009, Nicole Howell was acquitted by a jury. (Source)
“My life is ruined. Completely. My name has been dragged through the mud. I won’t be able to teach again. Not because I did anything — I did not — but because of the situation.”
Much of the prosecution focused on the more than 800 text messages exchanged between Howell and the student in a period of about a month and a half. But Howell said she “texts like that to everyone – students, teachers, cheerleaders” and compared the number to the nearly 2,000 messages she’d exchanged with her boyfriend in similar time periods. Howell said she did not send the student any sexually explicit text messages, although he did send her some. She admitted that she should have stopped the messaging altogether.
Howell said that while she knew who her accuser was and had interacted with him as part of the football-cheerleading team dynamic, she never once laid a hand on him or any other student, nor had she even been alone with him in school or otherwise. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before acquitting her in the four-day Kenton County trial.
More photos of Nicole Howell below (click for larger):
Update- Nicole Howell on Lifetime
Lifetime just did a special on Nicole Howell as part of their series My Life is a Lifetime Movie. You can watch it here. He is referred to as J.S. most of the time but actual court video recordings reveal him to be James Solomon.