Teacher threatened to fail student who tried to break up with her: police
STAMFORD, Conn. (Hartford Courant) — A high school English teacher in Connecticut is accused of giving students marijuana, having sex with a pupil and then threatening to fail him when the student tried to end the relationship, authorities said.
Danielle Watkins, 32, of Norwalk, turned herself in Thursday morning, police said. She was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of sale of marijuana and one count of risk of injury to a minor.
According to police, Watkins had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student from September 2013 until June 2014. The student told officers that the pair had numerous sexual encounters in the teacher’s car during school hours, and that the car was parked off of school grounds, police said.
Watkins also sent naked pictures of herself to the student’s phone, police said.
The student also alleged that Watkins provided him and a friend with marijuana and let him drive her vehicle even though he had no license, police said. The friend, a 15-year-old, said Watkins had provided them with marijuana on numerous occasions, police said.
The student said that, at one point, he attempted to break off the relationship, but Watkins assaulted him and accused him of being with someone else, police said.
“Watkins then used her position as a teacher to threaten to fail the victim if the encounters did not continue,” police said in a press release.
In late June, the student told a counselor about the relationship, police said. The counselor notified the school board and the state Department of Children and Families.
Police obtained search warrants for Watkins’ home, vehicle and phone, and on June 27 officers pulled her over while she was driving in Norwalk. Police said that when she was pulled over, Watkins tried to hide her phone under the passenger seat of her car.
Officers searched the vehicle and found marijuana inside, police said. When the marijuana was discovered, Watkins allegedly became “verbally combative” and was arrested for interfering a search warrant and possession of marijuana, police said.
Police said Watkins phone showed more than 2,000 text messages and hundreds of calls between her and the victim, as well as evidence of the pictures she had sent him.
“We are aware of the allegations,” Stamford school Superintendent Winifred Hamilton said in a statement Thursday. “We take these issues very seriously and always act to protect the welfare of our students.”
Hamilton said that Watkins has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Watkins is scheduled to appear in court on July 31, police said.