A teacher at one of Connecticut’s powerhouse football high school’s has been arrested on charges of raping a player. Allison Marchese was arrested on February 12 and charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury or impairing the morals of a child. Cops said the investigation into Marchese goes back to January 7. She was released from custody after posting a $100,000 bond.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Husband Also Teaches at Hand High School
The Hartford Courant reports that Marchese’s husband is also a teacher at Daniel Hand High School in affluent Madison, Connecticut.
According to the Madison Public Schools website, Robert Marchese teaches in the same department as his wife. The couple live together on Deveron Drive in Madison. In 2013, Allison Marchese was honored for her 10 years of service to the school. The couple donated $25 to a Sandy Hook charity in 2014.
2. One Student Wrote About Her on Rate My Teacher Saying She Was ‘One of the Nicest Teachers’
Marchese is a in the English/Language Arts Department at Hand High School. She’s also a year book advisor, according to the Madison Public Schools website. She has incredible ratings on her Rate My Teacher page, one student wrote in February 2011, “I love her! Her class is fun and we learn a lot. The honors class is challenging but still fun.” Others wrote about her in light of the scandal and her arrest, one student wrote, “Allison Marchese was one of the nicest teachers I have ever met…she always said hi to me in the hallways and is the last person you would expect. Sadly one mistake cost her.” Her husband’s reviews are not so good, in January 2014, a student wrote about him:
Mr Marchese is very condescending. He makes you not feel good about yourself. If you’re not “normal,” it’s like he doesn’t care about you or try to help you. Whatever, I’m sure a lot of people like him, but he’s got to get over his huge ego and realize it’s not all about him. Thankfully, I won’t have to be around him next year.
The Madison schools superintendent Thomas Scarice said in a statement:
Allegations of sexual misconduct against a minor student were reported immediately to the Madison Police Department the Department of Children and Families on January 7th by my office after a student report was made to the high school principal earlier that day. The police department investigated this matter and has now made an arrest.
I find the alleged conduct of this teacher vile and disgusting. The bond of trust between a professional educator and a student is fragile and precious. The violation of this bond is nothing less than reprehensible. The district will take the most aggressive actions possible to see to it that any individual who abuses this bond is removed from the profession and brought to justice.
Should Ms. Marchese be found to have engaged in sexual conduct with a student, she should face the full force of the law. Such acts abuse students, traumatize the school communities, and leave a black mark on the entire teaching profession. Such conduct is unspeakable.
The district will continue to work to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students. Now that an arrest has been made, the high school administration has put a plan in place to appropriately communicate this matter to students and staff, while also providing any necessary information and support services to students as they cope with this incident.
3. Police Are Struggling to Keep the Victim’s Name as Secret
The Shoreline Times reported on February 4 that the Madison Police Department were having hard time dealing with the wealth of information that was appearing social media regarding the case. Sgt. Joseph Race told the paper that social media, specifically YikYak, was making the job of protecting the identity of the accuser secret much harder. Numerous reports on social media had said in January that a teacher had been taken from the school in handcuffs, those rumors were later proved to be false. No arrests were made in the case until February 12.
4. Hand’s Football Coach Was Voted Coach of the Year in 2014
Daniel Hand High School’s football team, known as the Tigers, are among the most successful in Connecticut. According to Tiger Pride Football, the team has won 24 Division titles and 11 state titles. The team’s coach Steve Filippone has been in the job since 1989. In 2014, Filippone was voted National High School Coach of the Year.
5. There Were 781 Reported Cases of Teacher/Student Sex in the U.S. in 2014
Alabama has the highest rate of teacher/student sexual relationships. AL.com reported a study in January 2015 that suggested of the 781 reported cases in the U.S. in 2014, 25 were in Alabama. Per capita, that means Alabama has the highest rate. Ron Paige, who performed the study with Drive West Communications, said that the methodology wasn’t perfect and that certain things are illegal in Alabama that aren’t in California.