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MONROE - A high school teacher who was fired after being accused of having sex with two male students was convicted yesterday in Monroe County District Court for an indecent exposure incident involving one of the teenagers.
Kelly Abdo, who taught at Monroe High School, pleaded no contest to one count of indecent exposure in connection with the incident May 17 when two high school boys leaving a house party saw her having sex with an 18-year-old student in the teen's parked car.
Judge Terrence Bronson found Ms. Abdo guilty of the misdemeanor offense. He scheduled sentencing for March 25.
After conducting an internal inquiry, school officials took action in July to terminate her.
A math teacher at the high school since 2004, she remained on the district payroll while she appealed the board of education's dismissal.
The plea deal with prosecutors called for Ms. Abdo to surrender her state teaching certificate and resign from the district, effective yesterday, ending her efforts to appeal the board's dismissal action.
Assistant prosecutor Amara Hunter said the plea agreement also stipulates that she cannot seek employment as a teacher in Michigan or outside the state for two years while she is on probation.
She will be able to apply for teaching certification at the end of probation.
"This was the best possible resolution to this case," Ms. Hunter said. "There was more than one contact with this particular teenager."
Mark Bilkovic, an attorney for
Ms. Abdo, told Judge Bronson that his client entered into the plea agreement to avoid "potential civil liability."
Ms. Abdo, 27, of Luna Pier was not charged in connection with the relationship with the teenager because Michigan law allows consensual relations between a student and a teacher if the student is 18 years or older.
Authorities began investigating the former teacher in early March after a student told sheriff's deputies the teacher was having a sexual relationship with another teenager. The student, then 17, denied the relationship to investigators.
After the incident in May outside the house party on Riverview Avenue, the 18-year-old admitted to having sex with the teacher in the car as well as other times, including at his home.
The 18-year-old was not in the courtroom for the plea yesterday. However, the mother and relatives of the other teenager attended the hearing.
Ms. Hunter said the mother was pleased with the outcome of the case, and that she and the relatives attended the hearing out of concern for children.
"They are upset because they feel that their son was taken advantage of by the teacher," Ms. Hunter said. "[The mother] doesn't want this to happen to anyone else's child."
Ms. Abdo faces a possible punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Ms. Hunter said the 18-year-old would not be prosecuted for indecent exposure because he cooperated with authorities in the investigation of Ms. Abdo.
"We needed the cooperation of the other people involved. Unfortunately with children, they are not the most cooperative," she said.
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