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Home » News » Crime

March 24. 2014 9:47PM

Police: Claremont teacher charged in sex assault told 14-year-old he loved her


CHRISTOPHER LEBLANC 

CLAREMONT — A Stevens High School math teacher was fired as details came out in court Monday about his alleged relationship with a 14-year-old student.

Police said Christopher LeBlanc, 29, sexually assaulted the girl in a classroom as well as his home and a friend's house.

"LeBlanc also told the 14-year-old female that he loved her, and that he would wait for her to turn 18 so they didn't have to hide their relationship. LeBlanc went so far as to talk about future plans with her," Sgt. Emily M. Cobb wrote in the arrest affidavit.

LeBlanc was arrested Friday and charged with three counts of felonious sexual assault.

The affidavit includes several email messages between LeBlanc and the student including, "Just say we talked a lot but just as friends. Say what we have been saying before ... Don't mention sexual stuff."

According to the affidavit, the girl said a friendship between her and LeBlanc started in the fall and "blossomed into a relationship, as described by the 14-year-old female being similar to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship."

Around this time, LeBlanc asked the teen to babysit for his child.

He complimented her "endlessly" and referred to her as his "rock," the affidavit states. He also confided in her about his pending divorce.

The sexual relationship started in November, according to the affidavit.

At his arraignment Monday in the 5th Circuit Court District Division in Claremont, LeBlanc entered no plea. His bail was set at $250,000 cash at the request of Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway.

Hathaway said police are trying to determine if there are other victims.

"There's an ongoing investigation that is being conducted by the Claremont Police Department and that is one of the issues we are trying to establish," Hathaway said.

LeBlanc, of Claremont, started working for the high school as a math teacher in 2013, SAU # 6 Superintendent Middletown McGoodwin said.

McGoodwin placed LeBlanc on paid administrative leave Wednesday when the allegations were reported to him. McGoodwin also contacted police Wednesday.

Monday afternoon, McGoodwin said LeBlanc's employment with the SAU would be terminated.

In an email to parents McGoodwin wrote: "I want to express my surprise and great disappointment following the arrest of a Stevens High School teacher late Friday afternoon. And though this event was very unsettling, I am confident we will continue to keep our schools safe by being observant, and maintaining open communication between school and home."

The class B felonies against LeBlanc are each punishable by up to 3½ to seven years in prison.

LeBlanc's probable cause hearing is set for April 1 in the district court in Newport.

mpierce@newstote.com


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