Ex-teacher faces sex charges


Ex-teacher faces sex charges
Police: Mom found woman home alone with 15-year-old

Karen Bouffard / The Detroit News

September 18, 2007

 

CANTON TOWNSHIP [Michigan]– A former teacher at Plymouth Christian Academy was arrested and arraigned Monday, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student during the summer.

Stephanie Ann Stein, 31, a married mother of two from Canton Township, is accused of sexually abusing the youth, whom she allegedly met at the Academy, a 630-student school on Joy Road run by Calvary Baptist Church.

The alleged abuse is believed to have occurred during the summer and came to light after the boy’s mother returned home on several occasions to discover the teacher at her house, according to Canton Township Police Detective Sgt. Rick Pomorski.

“Mom had come home sometimes unannounced, and seen her leaving the house,” Pomorski said, adding that Stein was arrested Monday morning when she arrived at the police station to be interviewed about the allegations.

“Each time, she gave an excuse; like that she was helping him with schoolwork,” Pomorksi said.

Stein is being charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree, each a 15-year felony; one count of using the Internet to communicate with a minor to commit a felony, a four-year felony; and one count of distributing obscene material of a sexual nature to a minor, a two-year felony.

David Butler, secondary school principal and interim head of school at the academy, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the allegations. He said Stein resigned from the school in June. Butler, who was hired by the school in August, said he didn’t know how long Stein worked at the school, or why she resigned.

“We weren’t aware of any improprieties during her time with us,”Butler said, adding the school conducts criminal background checks and requires references for all of its teachers.

Butler said the boy is no longer enrolled at the school.

“We’re grieving for the situation,” he said.

Butler said Academy Superintendent Tony Beckett cut short a school-related trip to Baltimore because of Stein’s arrest and was to return to Michigan on Monday night.

“We’re going to have an outside investigator come in and check everything out, so all of our parents will know we’re completely above board,” Butler said. Parents arriving at the school to pick up their children Monday afternoon reacted with disbelief to the news. “I’m blown away,” said Linda Stover, of Wayne, who was picking up her fourth-grade granddaughter. “My daughter drives all the way from Belleville to put her child in school here. She thinks very highly of the school.”

Judge Michael Gerou issued a $50,000 personal bond with conditions of no contact with the victim and entered a not-guilty plea on Stein’s behalf. A preliminary exam is scheduled for Sept. 28 in 35th District Court.

You can reach Karen Bouffard at (734) 462-2206 orĀ kbouffard@detnews. com.

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