Claremont teacher accused of sex with student pleads guilty
Christopher LeBlanc, 29, of Claremont, was arrested and charged March 21 after a two-day investigation by Claremont police and Stevens High School administrators. He was initially charged at his arraignment in district court on four counts of felonious sexual assault stemming from his alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
He pled to two charges, said Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway.
The first charge he pled to was one count of felonious sexual assault on which he received a sentence of 3½ to 7 years in state prison.
On this charge LeBlanc was given a consecutive suspended sentence of 5 to 15 years in state prison. This sentence can be brought forward if LeBlanc violates the condition of the plea or commits a new crime, Hathaway said. This sentence cannot be brought forward after 15 years.
LeBlanc had been out on $150,000 cash bail.
“The moment the sentencing hearing was done the sheriff put him in handcuffs and took him to the New Hampshire state prison,” Hathaway said.
“This came about as a result, starting with a conversation with the victim and the victim’s family, who were very supportive of the prosecution, but were also very hopeful the young lady could start moving forward with her life and leave this whole sequence of events behind her,” Hathaway said. “Obviously with a case such as this these potentially have long lives and having this continue certainly can be perceived as having a negative impact. Life is hard when you are in the center of one of these things so putting it behind you has value.”
The quick resolution would not have been possible without Claremont police working quickly to complete their investigation and conduct forensic work on electronic devices, Hathaway said.
Hathaway added Stevens High School also benefits from the plea.
“There’s a huge impact on the school system,” Hathaway said. “It also certainly benefits the school to have closure on this.”
According to the affidavit, the victim said the sexual relationship started in November, but that a friendship between her and LeBlanc had started in the fall that “blossomed into a relationship, as described by the 14-year-old female being similar to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.”
He complemented her “endlessly” and referred to her as his “rock.” He also confided in her about his pending divorce.
“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.