OTTAWA — A former substitute teacher who admitted to having sex with a student just didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the situation and buried herself as the judge questioned her about the incident before he sent her to prison Monday for two years.
Jessica Storer, 29, said the student was 18 and he helped himself to alcohol at her home.
“The sexual relationship between the 18-year-old and I was a one-time thing,” she said.
But when Judge Randall Basinger told Storer he was concerned with her shifting responsibility to the teenager, she tried to change her tune.
“I accept full responsibility for him drinking and for not saying no,” she said. “I do feel it was consensual. It was not forced. That’s where I came in saying this should be between my husband and I, my priest and God.”
Basinger questioned her on the teen being at her house multiple times and being provided with alcohol multiple times.
“Alcohol was at my home. I did not force him to drink it. I allowed him,” she said.
Basinger told her she was the adult, despite the teen being an adult by age.
“I understand. I should have said no,” she said.
Storer asked Basinger to consider her mental health. She said she has had inpatient and outpatient treatment, and is taking medication to help her with bipolar disorder and depression. Storer also pleaded with Basinger for a short sentence saying she has two children at home who have never been away from her.
The teen’s father spoke in court saying his son has tried to commit suicide twice.
“He is trying to make his way out of this,” the father said. “Our son is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life.”
A representative of Crime Victim’s Services read a statement in court written by the teenage victim. He said he has been harassed at school, bullied online, and is the subject of gossip by adults.
“Jessica Storer has really made the last six months a living hell for me,” the statement said. “I hated it and I hated myself for doing it.”
The statement said Storer manipulated the teen while allowing him to talk to her about a bad breakup he was going through.
Storer was arrested Dec. 21, following an investigation by the Pandora Police Department acting on a tip received Dec. 12. Investigators contacted the teen and he told them he was given alcohol, spent the night at Storer’s house, and had sex with her.
Investigators interviewed Storer on Dec. 13 and she admitted to having sex with the teen.
Storer was a substitute teacher through the Putnam County Educational Service Center but her name was removed from the list of substitutes after the allegation surfaced. She had only been on the substitute list since September.
The judge also ordered Storer to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.