Former Highlands teacher accused of sex crime enters not guilty plea

Andrea Conners in court on Wednesday
Andrea Conners in court on Wednesday

A former Highlands High School business teacher appeared in court on Wednesday to set a pre-trial hearing date on a sexual abuse charge.

Andrea Conners appeared in Campbell County court around 1:00 p.m. Conners said very little in court, only confirming her name, date-of-birth and address. Her attorney entered a not guilty plea. A pre-trial hearing date was set for June 26 where she must decide if she wants to move forward with a trial or negotiate a plea bargain.

Conners was indicted by a Campbell County Grand Jury on May 10th. Conners, an eight year business education teacher at Highlands resigned one week after rumors began to circulate at the school that a faculty member and a student were having a sexual relationship.

Conners is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student between October 1st and November 30th of 2011. If Conners is convicted, she could be sentenced to one to five years in prison.

"We don't know what they have, but in a case like this someone came forward. A parent, a friend, a brother, a sister, a classmate, someone. That's what I'm sure got the ball rolling but during the investigation the prosecutor's office, the police, would have had to discovered some other evidence because a prosecutor can get an indictment for pretty much anything they want but smart prosecutors don't indict cases that they can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt," said Mike Allen, FOX19 News Legal Analyst.

The judge ordered Conners to not have any contact with the victim or his family.

Conners is just the latest tri-state educator to be accused of having sex with a student.

Sarah Jones is currently awaiting trial. Jones, former Dixie Heights teacher and Ben-gal cheerleader is accused but not convicted of having sex with a 17 yr old student. Jones resigned in November from Dixie Heights citing personal reasons and turned herself in after a grand jury indicted the 27 yr old for having sex with one of her teenage students.

If convicted, she faces up to ten years in prison.

Before Conners and Jones there was Stacy Schuler. The 33 year old Mason woman is currently in jail after being convicted of having sex with five students, some of them football players at Mason High School. Schuler was convicted of 16 counts of having sex with her students. The sexual encounters occurred at her home in Springboro, Ohio in 2010.

The 33 year old was sentenced to a total of four years in prison, however she can ask a judge for release after six months.

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