A former teacher and girl’s softball coach from the Wood-Ridge High School in New Jersey received probation on January 2, 2014, for having a sexual relationship with a male student at the school. NJ.com reports that the teacher/coach Jillian Clementi Cooper of Glen Ridge will also have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Copper, 29, told Superior Court Judge James J. Guida that she was very embarrassed and sorry and that it would never happen again. Cooper was 25 at the time and was charged with several counts of sexual intercourse and oral sex with a male student who was 17 when the offenses took place in the time span of May and July of 2009 in her apartment. Cooper was not arrested until May of 2012, when the abuses were discovered.
Prosecutors stated it would have been difficult to charge Cooper with a more serious offense because although she coached the girl’s softball team she did not have supervisory control over the male student. Senior Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Catherine Fantuzzi described Cooper as an adult who simply made a bad decision and was paying the necessary price.
Coopers defense attorney Brain Neary called her a talented young lady, a great athlete, who made a very bad choice with regard to misplaced affection from a different part of her life.
Cooper is now married and will be placed on probation for five years, she pled guilty under a plea agreement in which some of the charges were dropped.