Original article no longer available
8:53 AM EST, December 11, 2007
LISBON, N.Y. (AP) _ A 33-year-old high school English teacher charged with rape told police she was suffering from depression when she had sex with a 15-year-old student. Accompanied by her husband, Christel Gravlin cried Monday as she was arraigned on felony counts of third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
The affair became public when the highly intoxicated teacher announced it to students and others nearby during a school basketball game on Nov. 30. Deputies accused Gravlin, who has taught at Lisbon Central School since 2003, of having both oral sex and intercourse with the boy on Nov. 25 during a brief relationship that began a week or two earlier.
Gravlin was released under probation supervision and forbidden to have any further contact with the boy.
Neither Gravlin nor her attorney, Jane LaRock, would comment.
The 10th-grade teacher provided investigators with a detailed accounting of the affair in a three-page signed statement that was made part of the court record on Monday. Gravlin said she had been suffering from depression for the past year and was taking antidepressants. She told police she began drinking alcohol and was taking prescription pain killers.
Gravlin said that during this time, one of her students contacted her through AOL Instant Messaging to discuss his problems at school and they developed a close relationship.
“He told me I was young and beautiful and he said he loved me. There was something about hearing these things that made me feel good again,” said Gravlin, who has two children.
When she tried to break off the affair, the boy began talking about suicide, Gravlin told investigators.
“Each time I mentioned ending everything, he reminded me of these suicidal thoughts. In retrospect, I feel it was a way to manipulate me,” she said.
Gravlin has not returned to her job since Nov. 30. Lisbon Central Superintendent Erin Woods declined to discuss her status.
Although the investigation is continuing, investigators said there were no indications other students were involved and no additional charges were expected.
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