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April 17, 2017, 07:41:44 AM

Former Teacher Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Sexual Relationship with Student

By Timothy Perry

April 26, 2016 - 1:06 PM

Noelle Devlin Booking Photo

(Photo provided by the Richland County Sheriff's Office)

MANSFIELD - A former Mansfield Choice Academies teacher, who pleaded guilty last month to sexual battery and child endangering charges, was sentenced to one year in prison and four years of probation yesterday in the Richland County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge James DeWeese.

Noelle Devlin, 31, of Mount Vernon, pleaded guilty on March 17 to three counts of sexual battery, a third degree felony, and endangering children, a first degree misdemeanor. 

A former interactive media and instruction teacher at Mansfield Elective Academy, Devlin was arrested at a residence she owns in Mount Vernon by officers with the Mount Vernon Police Department on December 7 after a several-week-long search .

An indictment, filed on November 16 alleged that she engaged in a relationship with a student was "enrolled in or attends" the school. The sexual conduct occurred between June 1 and Oct. 5 of last year, according to the indictment. The indictment is not clear whether Devlin taught the student directly.

The mother of Devlin's alleged victim, then 16, believed Devlin was spending time mentoring her son outside of school. She later learned that her son was in a relationship with a female whom she believed was near her son's age. According to the mother, Devlin set up a fake Facebook profile under the name "Noey Elizabeth", but did not post pictures of her face. However, she became suspicious after she noticed the hand of the person holding her son's hand in a Facebook photograph looked much older than that of a teenager.

She was fired from her teaching position in October after school officials learned of the allegations against her. Her termination letter stated, "you are relieved of duty immediately, without pay, due to matters discussed and disclosed during the investigation by the Mansfield Police Department". She had been a teacher at the school since September 2014.

Devlin had previously been charged with 15 counts of sexual battery and 14 counts of endangering children, but the remainder of the charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.

At the sentencing, Judge DeWeese read a portion of a letter that Devlin had written to the court. In the letter, Devlin stated that she was not thinking clearly at the time of the relationship.

DeWeese said in reply to the letter, "I have a hard time believing you are taking responsibility", and noted that that, in the letter, Devlin had mostly blamed the victim. He went on to say that he did not believe Devlin was remorseful.  

Devlin issued an apology to the Court for the events that took place between herself and the victim.

She was ordered to have no contact with the victim and will have to register as a Tier III sex offender for the remainder of her life. Her four year probation period will begin immediately after her release from prison.

Devlin is currently being held in the Richland County Jail. Her transfer to the state prison system is expected in the next several days.

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