Former teacher sentenced to nine months jail for sexual assault
The former Prescott teacher accused of sexual assault learned her fate Wednesday.
Anne Knopf, 39, pled guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court to one count of second degree sexual assault of a child. As a result, she was sentenced to nine months jail and five years probation.
Additional terms include no contact with the victim or any male under the age of 18. Knopf also must undergo sex offender assessment and register as a sexual offender for the rest of her life.
"This was an unusual case to say the least," said Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle, explaining that his office has seen past cases in this regard in which the offender was a male.
A two-day jury trial was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, but O'Boyle said a plea agreement was reached after physical evidence corroborated what the victim, a 13-year-old boy, alleged that intercourse took place.
"The boy wasn't at fault in this case," said Circuit Court Judge Robert Wing. "... This was a series of acts, not just one incident."
Knopf was initially charged last October. According to the criminal complaint, the incident stems back to last May, when the victim's father became suspicious as his son took his mother's car and drove to Knopf's house. He confronted Knopf and asked if his son was inside her home, she replied no.
He was later discovered at the residence, but initially offered another excuse for his presence there. He then told Pierce County sheriff's deputies a second time that he was there as just friends and that he was only talking with Knopf.
The complaint states the relationship between the two allegedly commenced via e-mail and messaging activities that, unbeknownst to the victim and Knopf, his father had watched within the last couple of weeks prior to the May incident.
"What they didn't realize is that I had already made copies of the e-mails," the father said in an earlier complaint, which resulted in a two-year injunction being placed against her.
Included in those e-mails and instant messages were statements about how much they loved each other, they missed each other and wanted to get together again.
The boy later admitted to sheriff's investigators that the two had sexual contact, including kissing and intercourse. When asked how many times the two met, the boy said between three to five times.
For more please read the July 23 print version of the Herald.