Teacher Threatened to Fail Student Who Tried to End Sexual Relationship: Police

Stamford, Connecticut, police have arrested a Stamford High School English teacher who is accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student and then threatening to fail him when he tried to break off the relationship.

The teacher, Danielle Watkins, 32, of Norwalk, is on administrative leave, according to the high school. Police said she is a married mother of two.

On June, 23, the Stamford Police Department Special Investigations Unit learned that Watkins might have been involved in an inappropriate relationship with one of her students and started investigating.

Three days later, the student went to the police department and told authorities that he’d had several sexual encounters with his English teacher from September 2013 until June 2014. They took place in her car during school hours, but off school grounds, according to police.

The teen also told police Watkins sent naked messages of herself and allowed him to use her car even though she knew he didn’t have a license, police said.

In additional to the sexual allegations, Watkins supplied the teen and a friend with marijuana, which they smoked both on and off the school grounds during school hours, according to police.

At one point, the teen tried to break off the nine-month relationship. He told police Watkins assaulted him, accused him of being with someone else and threatened to fail him if the sexual encounters stopped.

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The teen needed to pass the class to graduate and confided in a counselor in late June, according to police. The state Department of Children and Families as well as the Board of Education were notified.

"We are aware of the allegations. We take these issues very seriously and always act to protect the welfare of our students.  The teacher in question has been, and will remain, on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.  We will continue to cooperate with the police and other authorities on this matter, " a statement from Stamford Supt. Winifred Hamilton says.

Police said they also identified a 15-year-old student who Watkins allegedly gave marijuana to.

When police spoke to him, he said he smoked marijuana with in Watkins in her vehicle on school grounds during school hours and that she also provided him marijuana and rolling papers on several occasions, police said.

Police searched Watkins car, phone, and home on June 27.

When police tried to pull Watkins over during a traffic stop, she tried to hide her phone under the passenger seat and argued with police when they found marijuana in the vehicle, police said.

She was arrested and charged with interfering with a search warrant and possession of marijuana charges, police said.

When police searched the phone, they found more than 2,000 text messages and hundreds of calls between Watkins and the victim, as well as naked messages she sent, police said.

Police obtained an arrest warrant and charged her with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and sale of marijuana, Bond was set at $75,000.

A second warrant, issued for allegations concerning the second victim, charges her with sale of marijuana and risk of injury to a minor. Bond was set at $25,000 and she posted bail.

Watkins turned herself in to police on Thursday and is due in court on July 31.

Police also notified States Attorney Ornousky, who worked with the in conjunction with the special investigative unit.


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