A married mother and substitute teacher has been arrested after police in Pennsylvania said she was caught having sex with a 17-year-old student in a cemetery.
Kelly Aldinger, 49, was discovered with the teen boy by a police officer on patrol at the Easton Cemetery at 1:06 p.m. on May 6, Lehigh Valley Live reports.
She was a substitute at Easton Area High School, authorities said. She was arrested May 16 and charged with institutional sexual assault.
“I have no doubt in my ability to prove the case,” Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Tatum Wilson told Lehigh Valley Live. She said Aldinger confessed to police, the student confirmed her story and “we actually have an eyewitness. He actually saw the intercourse taking place. I’m confident a conviction will occur in this case given the amount of evidence.”
Aldinger’s attorney declined to comment.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say the Student & Aldinger Met When He Was in Middle School & the ‘Relationship’ Began When He Was 16
Kelly Aldinger and the 17-year-old student met when she was a substitute at Easton Middle School and she was a teacher there, according to police.
“The relationship started approximately a year, year-and-a-half ago, and the juvenile victim was a student at one time of Ms. Aldinger,” Lieutenant Matthew Gerould told WPVI-TV.
The officer found Aldinger and the teen engaged in intercourse in a Chevrolet Equinox at the cemetery, police told WTXF-TV.
The Easton Cemetery’s superintendent, Jeff Mutchler, said he was aware of the incident.
“We rely on the Easton Police Department to help us at the cemetery,” Mutchler told the Morning Call. “They come in, they do drive-throughs.”
Mutchler told the newspaper couples, prostitutes, teens and drug users have taken advantage of the cemetery in the past.
“It’s a park-like setting,” Mutchler said. “Because it’s secluded, quiet, we do have people come in here and they’re disrespecting the family of the people that are buried here.”
2. She Was Suspended by the Company She Works For & Her Contract to Teach at Easton High School Was Terminated
Aldinger is no longer working at Easton Area High School. The school district’s superintendent, John Reinhart, told Lehigh Valley Live that she had been working as a substitute “for quite sometime,” including “at various substitute positions right up until that day,” she was caught in the cemetery.
“It’s a moral and ethical breach of conduct,” Reinhart told Lehigh Valley Live. “No question about that. Very serious misbehavior, misconduct. A tremendous violation of trust. No matter where you work, one would hope for an element of trust between employer and employee.”
She was initially a substitute for the district, but was then employed by Source4Teachers, a company that provides substitutes to school district.
“Once the police notified us of the circumstances, we immediately called Source4Teachers and told them they needed to make sure she’s off their list until they investigate the matter through the Easton Police Department,” Reinhart told Lehigh Valley Live. “Needless to say, she’s banned from substitute teaching in our schools.”
The company has suspended her.
“Source4Teachers has been made aware that a substitute employed by the company and working in the Easton Area School District was arrested on May 6th,” the company said in a statement. “Given the nature of the allegations and our policy for dealing with such matters, Source4Teachers has indefinitely suspended the substitute from all jobs in all of our partner districts pending a thorough investigation.”
Her attorney, Josh Fulmer, said in court, “The assignments that she had lined up until the end of the year have been terminated, so I don’t know what that will mean for her in the future, pending on the disposition of the charges.
3. She Moved Out of the Home She Shared With Her Husband & Is Living With Her Parents
Aldinger, who has at least one son, according to her Facebook page, said in court Tuesday that she has moved out of the Easton home she shared with her husband, according to the Morning Call.
She has moved in with her parents in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania. Her parents were in court with her on Tuesday.
4. She Was the Council President at Her Local Lutheran Church
Aldinger has been heavily involved at St. Paul’s III Lutheran Church in Easton, according to the church’s website. She was listed as its council president in the fall, but the website now lists that position as vacant.
She was also listed as Christian Education Chair and Worship & Music/Sunday School coordinator.
“We are praying for all the Aldinger family and we have no other comment at this time,” the church’s pastor, Reverend Chris Drunkenmiller, told Lehigh Valley Live.
5. She Surrendered to Police & Was Released After Her Father Posted Her Bail
Aldinger surrendered to police on Tuesday and appeared in court for the first time. She was released from custody after her father posted 10 percent of her $50,000 bail, authorities said.
She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The investigation is ongoing and further charges could be possible, prosecutors said. Police said they have not found any other victims.