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Teacher allegedly paid student after sex

Published August 21, 2009 6:15 pm

Helper » Victim's mother says teen got up to $1,500.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A former Helper Junior High School teacher charged with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student paid her victim between $1,400 and $1,500 after the encounters, court documents allege.

New details about the relationship between Melissa Ann Andreini and her alleged victim emerged from a probable cause statement recently filed in 7th District Court.

According to the statement, the victim's mother confronted Andreini at Andreini's home in Helper on July 3 after finding out the teacher was supposedly having sex with her son. Andreini admitted to the boy's mother that she had sex with the teenager on several occasions at her home, according to the statement.

A Utah Division of Child and Family Services worker along with police interviewed the boy about his relationship with Andreini, which he said started during the 2008-09 school year, according to the statement.

The boy told police Andreini used to bring him and his friends coffee two to three times a week before school started. The boys went to Andreini's classroom to get the drinks, according to the statement. The victim reported to police that Andreini paid him money after three separate sexual episodes at her home in June.

Court documents do not specify if the money exchanged was for sex or to keep the boy quiet about the encounters. The victim's mother told police Andreini admitted to paying the boy between $1,400 and $1,500 when the mother confronted Andreini on July 3, according to the statement.

Andreini, 28, was charged Monday in 7th Distirct Court with three counts of third-degree felony unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Sept.28 before Judge Douglas Thomas in Price. If convicted, Andreini faces up to five years in prison on each count.

Last week, Helper police announced Andreini was under investigation for sexual activity with a boy who recently completed ninth grade at Helper Junior High School.

Another teacher at Helper Junior High School is also accused of sexual misconduct with a student in a case unrelated to Andreini's, police said. Charges against that teacher are still being screened, said Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate. He said it's possible the other teacher will not be charged.

Robert Cox, special programs director for the Carbon County School District, told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week that Andreini was hired as a special education teacher in the fall of 2006.

The school district received word of the allegations against Andreini and the other teacher in late July from Helper police and Carbon County sheriff's deputies, Cox said.

Cox said Andreini submitted a letter of resignation to the district on Aug. 3. The other teacher has been placed on administrative leave.

Cox said the district is using the case as an opportunity to reinforce the district's rules about professional practices. He said Andreini's alleged victim was a student at the school, but not one of her special education students.

"We take very seriously the safety of our students," Cox said. "We want our students to feel safe and feel comfortable in school. We regret that this would happen in our district or in any other district."

Andreini was booked into the Carbon County jail earlier this week, but was released after posting $10,000 bail. She did not return a phone call from The Tribune seeking comment Friday afternoon.

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