They had sex during school events, in assorted hotels and even in the woman’s car.
Now, the male student is suing his former teacher and the Texas school district for alleged emotional and physical damage.
The student, using the pseudonym Mark Smith to protect his identity, is accusing Rachelle Heenan of taking advantage of his immature and underdeveloped mental state of mind when she repeatedly engaged the boy in sexual encounters.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Heenan was formerly a forensic science teacher at the Hollenstein Career and Technology Center, part of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district.
She was put on administrative leave in May 2012 and indicted in February 2013 on a charge of an improper relationship between an educator and student.
The Tarrant County district attorney’s office says Heenan received five years of deferred adjudicated probation in a plea bargain, and she also voluntarily gave up her teaching certificate.
Heenan was 34 at the time of the sex, and Smith was a minor at age 17.
Bobbie Edmonds, the boy’s attorney, told the Star-Telegram the relationship with Heenan damaged Smith’s mind and emotions, and has delayed his plans to join the U.S. Marines.
“He was mentally impacted by what happened,” Edmonds said. “He was impressionable, and there was the age difference and the fact that she was a teacher.”
Court records indicate the relationship between the two began during Smith’s senior year, as he was prepared for a career as a diesel mechanic in the Marine Corps. He had been slated to enter the military one day after he graduated in June 2012.
The paper reports: “In February 2012, Heenan and Smith met in her forensic science class and soon began sending elicit text messages. The ‘sexting’ continued, and the relationship soon escalated to the point where Heenan and Smith met in a private gym parking lot and also checked into a hotel, where they had sex.”
Court documents reveal Edmonds is alleging Heenan took advantage of the teen’s self-confidence, immaturity and dependency issues and “assaulted, raped and battered him in her capacity of teacher/educator, in violation of the law.”
The suit describes how the student damaged school district property in excess of $24,000. Edmonds remained silent on the specifics, fearing he might be identified, but she said the emotional trauma of the sexual relationship led the teen to cause the damage.
The lawsuit also states the Saginaw district “failed to provide proper supervision, failed to act to warn or otherwise protect young victims and failed to secure the school premises from the sexual assaults that occurred on school premises and at school sponsored events and activities.”