A high school student who engaged in a sexual relationship with her female teacher last year said in court Wednesday that she is in love with the 27-year-old.
“I know in my heart that I am completely in love with this woman, without a doubt,” the teenage student told Hamilton County Judge Jody Luebbers.
Jennifer Walsh, the teacher who was 26 at the time the relationship began with the 17-year-old in May of 2018, was an intervention specialist at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Breitbart News reported.
However, Montgomery police Detective Steve Hoy told Judge Leubbers on Wednesday that he believes the relationship between the two individuals is genuine.
“This relationship, I believe, was actually real,” the investigator said. “It will probably continue to be real.”
Breitbart News reported that an investigation was opened by school officials and police on October 16 after a complaint regarding an improper student-teacher relationship was filed at the Hamilton County Job and Family Services department.
School superintendent Frank Forsthoefel told parents in a statement issued October 30 that the school would continue working with investigators regarding the matter.
“We find the reported allegations to be shocking, upsetting, and take them very seriously,” he wrote. “We are committed to fully working with the Montgomery Police Department in their investigation and to take appropriate action to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.”
Police records said that five witnesses told officials about the alleged sexual battery, which is also known as sexual assault or rape.
Walsh, who had no prior criminal record, reportedly resigned from her position at the school on October 19 and was arrested and charged with sexual battery on October 29.
In June, she pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition and could potentially face up to 18 months in prison. However, the judge said during court on Wednesday that she was not ready to sentence Walsh.
“I just need … more time,” Judge Luebbers said. She then delayed the sentencing until Friday.