Karla Jean Winterfeld: Duluth, Minnesota middle school teacher sentenced to 12 years jail for sleeping with teen student.
An award winning Minnesota teacher has been jailed for 12 years after admitting to multiple acts of illicit trysts with a former teen male student.
During her sentencing on Thursday, Karla Jean Winterfeld, 34, told the courtroom she’d ‘destroyed’ her 15 year old victim’s life.
The Grand Forks Herald reported the Duluth middle school teacher admitting to engaging in multiple sexual acts with the victim over the course of several weeks in May.
Police found pictures and videos showing the acts- with evidence that the married teacher had researched consent laws. Upon her indictment, the Duluth News Tribune reported the prosecution seeking the maximum sentence of 12 years jail.
Told Judge David Johnson during sentencing: ‘He had hope for a better life and you, through your actions, destroyed that. You destroyed his life. I can’t get past that. I simply can’t.
‘We’re here for sentencing related to your rape of an underage child. That’s the charge, and that’s what you’ve pled guilty to.’
Winterfeld pleaded guilty in October to a felony count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
During sentencing, the former Lincoln Park middle school teacher, who resigned after 11 years with Duluth school district, apologized for her actions.
Told the woman. ‘I will never forgive myself for what happened. I will live with this guilt for the rest of my life.’
In a letter to ‘the courts and the Duluth community’ Winterfeld wrote: ‘My children are my world and I want to become the mother they deserve. I made a terrible choice and have hurt many people.
‘To my victim I am sorry I didn’t handle the situation properly. I am the adult and you are the child.’
Told the victim’s uncle, ‘I can see it in his face, his eyes, his actions. He’s starting to bottle up. He won’t talk to me. All the effects are starting to show.
‘It hurts. It shouldn’t have happened. You should’ve known better. You say this is far from over. Well, I’ve got to deal with this for the next few decades.’
A therapist at the mental health clinic, Jessica Metzger, told the court: ‘She has been very motivated, very engaged, very interested in learning why she did what she did.’
Responded St. Louis County prosecutor Jon Holets, ‘There is nothing particularly different or special about this case except that the courtroom happens to be filled.
‘This is exactly what sexual assault and sexual abuse look like. She is not the victim.’
Winterfeld waa given the 2016 Greg Irons Teacher Award and had two nominations for the Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award during her career, Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.
Not necessarily understood is what led to the lauded teacher abusing her position of authority, trust and power to subjugate her teen male victim.