A high school teacher in Connecticut was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual relationships with two students.
Allison Marchese, 39, was sentenced March 3 after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct charges in November, according to the Hartford Courant. She had been an English teacher at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut, when the crimes took place.
"You were a teacher and you were in a position of trust," Judge Melanie Cradle told Marchese during sentencing. "And the bottom line here is the victims are kids and you were their teacher; a person who is engaged in the noble profession of shaping lives, values and thought processes of our youth. It's certainly a gift you should have taken more seriously."
Marchese's attorney, William F. Dow III, said his client was "too emotional" to speak in court.
"This happened in a very, very bad time in Ms. Marchese's life," he said. "It's incorrect to portray her as someone who either lacks compassion or lacks remorse."
Marchese was also sentenced to five years' probation and is prohibited from contacting the victims for 10 years. She will be made to undergo sex offender treatment and will be a registered sex offender for 10 years.
Court documents show that in 2014 Marchese sent sexually charged text messages and images to the teenage students. In one of the images she was "dressed in only thong-style underwear with her breast covered and her midriff exposed."
Marchese said she had sent the image to her husband -- a fellow teacher at Daniel Hand High School -- and "did not know how a student would have gotten it."
Records also indicated that she had performed oral sex on one of the teens in a locked classroom. The student was 17 at the time. He told police that he sent her a message after the incident and told her he was "freaking out" and that he wanted $200 in exchange for keeping quiet about the affair.
That's when Marchese reportedly threatened to use what she called her father's mafia connections to intimidate the victim. According to the affidavit, she told him her father would "tell his boys in New York" and that he would never play football again.
The victim's mother said in a statement that her son had been dealing with the death of his father when the abuse took place.
"It was then that she took it upon herself to prey on him when he was most vulnerable," her statement read.
A statement from the victim indicated that he felt shame for having had sexual relations with Marchese.
"I became a kid who had sex with a teacher," he wrote. "I know it's cool to do that in some cultures, but in my world it's now considered shameful. I became the outcast, the pervert. I was one of those people who just wanted to fit in, so this was painful."
He added: "This whole experience burned a hole in my soul. It is slowly being repaired, but the pain persists. I understand that life eventually comes around and justice will be served in time. I just hope these words will not be in vain."
Marchese and her husband, Robert, have since divorced, according to the Daily Mail. During the investigation he told police that his wife had become "obsessed with social media and working out" and that she had admitted to him that she had inappropriate sexual contact with two of her students.
Marchese was fired by the school district and is prohibited from ever working another job that entails the supervision of children.