Kelli Vassallo, an ex-middle school teacher in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to two years in jail for having sexual relations with two teen girls.
Vassallo, a suspended basketball coach at a school in Loyalsock Township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, admitted having sexual relations with a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old girl between 2009 and 2013, the Daily Mail reported.
The 38-year-old teacher was convicted of the crimes and this month was sentenced to the jail term along with ten years of probation. Vassallo will also have to register as a sex offender for 25 years.
The older victim, who was 17 at the time that the relationship started, said she convinced herself that a relationship with a grown woman was “normal” and even fought with her mother over the relationship.
The victim, who is now married, said that the ex-teacher attempted to drive a wedge between her and her mother. In a statement read to the court, she said, “I hated to be at home. Kelli made it out to be my mom’s fault. Kelli needs to be stopped.”
The second victim, who was 13 at the time of the molestation, also spoke of how Vassallo manipulated her, adding, “You stole the best years of my life away from me. You attacked me.”
Vassallo pleaded guilty in August to charges of institutional sexual assault and corruption of a minor.
But the ex-teacher also proclaimed her lack of faith that the justice system would understand her situation.
The judge wryly noted that if she felt innocent, she should plead not guilty and go to trial. “I don’t want to put an innocent person in jail,” he said.
During the sentencing this month, Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio concluded that “it is too kind” to say Vassallo betrayed the victims.