Courtney Roznowski is the former Wisconsin teacher sentenced to six months behind bars for having a sexual relationship with an underage student. Roznowski admitted to having sex with the 16-year-old boy twice, according to a criminal complaint cited by the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Roznowski pleaded “no contest” to one count of “exposing genitals/intimate parts to a child,” according to court records. The prosecutor dropped the sexual assault charges, which could have resulted in a longer prison sentence.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. “It is Every Kid’s Dream to do a Teacher,” the Student Told Police
Police in Green Bay, Wisconson, opened an investigation in 2019 after Child Protective Services received a tip about a possible inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student at Southwest High, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The school is part of the Green Bay Area Public School District.
Several faculty members had begun to suspect something was going on between Roznowski and a 16-year-old student, WBAY-TV reported, because the two were “unusually close.” The victim denied the relationship at first but acknowledged he knew there were rumors going around the school. According to a criminal complaint cited by the local TV station, the teen told the police, “Well, it is every kid’s dream to do a teacher.”
Roznowski surrendered her phone to the police and admitted that she and the teen had sex twice, including once at his house. She said the physical relationship began in July 2019. Roznowski told investigators she loved the boy “in the way I didn’t want to see anything happen to him,” People reported.
The victim eventually confessed to the relationship as well. According to Fox 11, the boy said he was the one who ended the relationship.
2. Roznowski Was Arrested in August 2019 & Faced Felony Sexual Assault Charges
Roznowksi was arrested on August 20, 2019. According to inmate records from the Brown County Jail, Roznowki was released the following day “on her own recognizance.” She was ordered to stay away from the victim and the school, court records show.
Roznowski was charged with three counts of sexual assault of a student by a staff member and two counts of “Exposing Genitals/Pubic Area/Intimate Parts to a Child,” which are both felonies according to the Wisconsin State Legislature.
The prosecutor and the defense attorney negotiated a plea deal that allowed Roznowki to plead to one of the exposure charges in exchange for dropping the sexual assault charges.
According to Fox 11, the deal was reached because Roznowski was not under contract with the Green Bay school district when she had sex with the student. Judge Donald Zuidmulder initially rejected the plea deal, arguing that it was not in “the public interest.” But the judge changed his mind a few weeks later after the lawyers submitted written briefs further explaining the plea deal.
3 Roznowki Worked as a Paraprofessional at Southwest High & Formally Resigned a Few Weeks After She Was Arrested
Roznowksi was employed at Southwest High as a paraprofessional during the 2018-2019 school year, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. That meant she would have helped other licensed teachers in the classrooms, a school spokesperson told the newspaper. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, a paraprofessional needs to have a high school diploma in addition to either an associate’s degree or completed 48 credits of post-secondary education.
Roznowski was not formally under contract with the Green Bay Area Public School District during the summer of 2019, when the relationship with the student took place. But she did return to the district for the 2019-2020 school year.
Roznowski was put on unpaid administrative leave after her arrest on August 20, 2019, WFRV-TV reported at the time. Roznowski formally resigned on September 11, 2019, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.
A search of the Wisconsin DPI licensing system brings up one “Courtney Roznowski” in the system. She holds a “Special Education Program Aide” license. The license, which was applicable for five years, was granted in 2017. Her license was listed as being “Under Investigation” as of this writing.
4. The Judge Told Roznowski She Was the ‘Nightmare of Every Parent’
During the investigation, Roznowski explained her decisions by insisting she had been experiencing “extensive personal issues,” WBAY-TV reported. She told the police she had been drinking alcohol heavily while she was engaged in the sexual relationship with the student.
During the sentencing hearing on September 25, Roznowski claimed she had not initiated the intimate relationship but understood that she had been in the wrong. WLUK-TV was in the courtroom and published Roznowski’s statement to the judge:
I accept responsibility for what I did, and I know what I did was wrong. While I did not initiate the relationship, I should have put an end to it once I realized that the messages being sent to me were from a student at the school. Please have it in your heart to see the good in me. Have me keep working, have me keep seeing my counselor, have me be around my family daily. Overall, I hope my actions for the last 13 months have shown you how serious I have and will continue to take this.
Zuidmulder responded that he was “unimpressed” with Roznowski. He referred to her as the “nightmare of every parent” because parents should feel reassured their children are with “trusting people” when at school. Zuidmulder added that the embarrassment Roznowski had caused her own parents “is more punishment that you will carry than what I could impose on you.”
5. Roznowski Will Serve 3 Years Probation Following the Jail Sentence
Roznowski may be allowed out of jail for periodic times during her six-month sentence. Court records list “Huber granted” under the “notes” section of her sentencing. According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, the Huber Law applies to county jail inmates:
Any person sentenced to a county jail for crime, nonpayment of a fine or forfeiture, or contempt of court or subject to a confinement sanction under s. 302.113 (8m) or 302.114 (8m) or a probationer detained in a county jail, tribal jail, or other county facility for a probation violation who meets the criteria under s. 302.335 (2j) may be granted the privilege of leaving the jail during necessary and reasonable hours…
Reasons for leaving the jail include performing community service work, searching for employment and attending an education institution.
After she completes the jail sentence, Roznowski will remain on probation for three years. According to court records, the judge ordered Roznowki to remain sober and to avoid any places where alcohol is available. She must also write a “letter of apology to staff at Southwest High School and letter to every superintendent in Brown County.” Roznowski will be forbidden from having contact with any minors unless the person is a family member. Contact with the victim is also strictly forbidden.