Anitra Lahiri is a married teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student at the pricy Lyndon Institute private boarding school in Vermont, The Caledonian Record reports.
Lahiri, a 44-year-old married mother-of-two from New Hampshire, was charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count disseminating indecent material to a minor. She had pleaded not guilty.
Police say Lahiri had sex with a 17-year-old student multiple times at her Lyndonville apartment and in her classroom during school hours.
Lahiri is no longer employed by the school and the student has since graduated.
Lahiri was hired by the school in 2016 to teach English as a second language. She has been a teacher for 20 years.
If convicted, Lahiri faces up to 15 years in prison and $31,000 in fines. She has been released on bond and is barred from making contact with two former students.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Cafeteria Worker Alerted Officials About the Alleged Relationship
According to a police affidavit, school cafeteria worker Skiilynn Wheeler notified officials about the allegations in November, The Caledonian Record reported.
Wheeler told the school’s Director of Student Health and Wellness Don Hunt that she had learned of an inappropriate relationship between Lahiri and the student that occurred the previous school year.
The school forwarded the allegations to the Vermont Department of Children and Families who notified the state police.
2. Teen Said Lahiri Sent Him a Link to a Porn Site ‘With Lahiri on It’
Wheeler told police that the teen had come to her house a few weeks prior and told her about what happened the previous year.
The teen told Wheeler that Lahiri friended him on Facebook when he was a 17-year-old student of hers and sent him a link that said “don’t open until you are eighteen,” she told the police.
The teen told the cafeteria worker that when he clicked on the link it “sent him to a porn site with Lahiri on it,” Wheeler told police.
3. Teen Said Lahiri Had Sex With Him During School and at Her Home
According to police, the teen admitted having sex with Lahiri multiple times before his May 2018 spring graduation.
The teen said he had sex with Lahiri in her apartment and once at school during class hours in May 2018.
“Lahiri asked him to stay behind because she had to talk with him about something,” police said in an affidavit. “He advised he had initially thought that she was going to talk to him … but it ended up going further and they had sex. He described the room as being on the third floor of the building.”
4. Lahiri Has Been Fired by The School
Lahiri was placed on leave after the allegations surfaced in September and has since been let go by the school.
“The school repeatedly turned over information received in connection with this teacher to DCF and the police,” school spokesperson Javin Leanard said in a statement to the Caledonian Record. “Following our procedures, the teacher was immediately placed on leave. She has had no contact with our students and has not been on campus since late November. Her employment with Lyndon Institute has since terminated. She is not permitted to come onto our campus.”
According to the report, Lahiri had taught ESL at the school since 2016. She previously taught English for 20 years. She previously worked at Solebury School in New Hope, the George School in Newtown and White Mountain School in Bethlehem, N.H.
5. Lyndon Institute is a $45,000-Per-Year Boarding School
The Lyndon Institute is an upscale boarding school that costs $45,000 per year, People reported.
“At Lyndon Institute, the safety and well-being of our students are our top priorities, and we take all necessary steps to ensure that these priorities are safeguarded,” Head of School Twiladawn Perry said in a statement. “Our policies and procedures require that professional boundaries be maintained at all times between any adult in our community, and our students, and all school staff are trained concerning these limits, as well as about their obligations as mandated reporters.
“Our students are repeatedly taught that if they see something, they should say something,” Perry continued. “When the School learns of matters of concern from any source, we act quickly by both investigating and involving state and local authorities, as required and as appropriate to the situation.”