A former teaching assistant pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old student in an Illinois courtroom. Allyssa Gustafson, 24, admitted aggravated criminal sexual abuse as a result of the inappropriate relationship she had with the minor while working at Circle Academy in Urbana, according to the News-Gazette.
- This didn’t just happen once. Gustafson is said to have had at least five sexual encounters with the boy, with the first one happening in March 2019 when she was working at the school. Circle Academy specializes in educating children with “behavioral and emotional challenges,” WAND-TV reports.
- They took their relationship online. Gustafson and the student talked outside the classroom via Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, where she sent him photos of herself in swimsuits and lingerie. However, the ruse was up when the boy’s mother saw the photos and realized that the woman she’d seen around the family’s house wasn’t actually a high school senior but a teaching assistant at her son’s school.
- Gustafson was originally charged in November 2019. While she was initially charged with criminal sexual assault of the student, prosecutors recently lessened the charges to make them slightly less serious. However, they still want her to serve time in prison.
- Her lawyers are seeking a probationary sentence. Gustafson’s lawyers are hoping to get probation and community service for their client despite the prosecution’s insistence that she end up behind bars. The charges Gustafson faces carry a maximum of 15 years behind bars.