A 30-year-old teacher in Duluth, Minnesota avoided jail time after engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old boy who had been her student several years earlier. The teacher, Madeleine Ruth Schmaltz, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, but she was sentenced to only three years of supervised probation.
Schmaltz, who according to the Toronto Sun is a popular teacher, explained in court that her judgment had been clouded.
“During the spring of 2019, I was going through personal traumatic experiences that did cloud my judgment,” she told the judge. “Since then, I’ve been working through those experiences, along with just trying to better myself, and I will continue to do so.”
The police found out about the relationship in June 2019 after the boy’s mother realized what was going on. The mother overheard her son talking with a woman over the phone, and the conversation was sexual in nature. It didn’t take much effort for the boy’s mother to figure out that the woman was Schmaltz, because the boy had the teacher listed as a contact in his phone. All mom had to do was check the call log.
Once his mom caught him, the boy confessed. He said Schmaltz had been mentoring him at her house, but it wasn’t long before mentoring turned into fondling. Apparently, the teacher and her former student had been touching each other’s genitalia.
In addition to receiving three years of supervised probation, Schmaltz had to register as a sex offender, and she’s been ordered not to have any contact with the boy or with any minors. She had previously resigned from the school board when the police discovered her crime.
Schmaltz has relocated and currently works in online retail.
“I know that my clouded judgment has harmed the victim and the victim’s family,” Schmaltz said in court, “and for that I am truly sorry.”