Former Hudson teacher pleads guilty to gross sexual imposition involving student in Kent
A former Hudson High School teacher has pleaded guilty in connection with an inappropriate relationship with a female student in Kent.
Heidi Lynn Hallstein, 57, of Shawnee Drive in Kent, pleaded guilty in Portage County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 19 to gross sexual imposition and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, both fourth-degree felonies, according to court records. As part of a plea deal, both charges were amended from third-degree felony sexual battery.
“Heidi has no prior criminal record, fully cooperated with law enforcement and is looking forward to putting this matter behind her,” said Donald J. Malarcik Jr., one of her attorneys, on Monday.
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Hallstein was accused of having sex with the former student, who Malarcik said is now an adult, at a West College address on Jan. 27, 2017. The address, included in a complaint that the Portage County Sheriff’s Office filed in Portage County Municipal Court, matches that of Kent Karate and Family Fitness Martial Arts Dojo. The martial arts school’s website identifies Hallstein as owner and chief instructor. Briefly reached by phone at the school, Hallstein referred a request for comment to Malarcik.
Malarcik said the relationship between Hallstein and the girl, now an adult, was consensual and is ongoing.
“This is unlike any case that I’ve worked on where there’s an allegation of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student,” said Malarcik. “This was brought to law enforcement’s attention not by a parent or a student, but by a very unhappy ex-inlaw. At the time this happened, the victim was 17-and-a-half years old and Heidi has accepted responsibility for her actions.”
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Hallstein resigned from her Hudson schools job, according to Hudson City Schools, and Malarcik said Hallstein has voluntarily surrendered her teacher’s license.
The scheduling of sentencing is pending an investigation and report by the court’s adult probation department. According to court records, Hallstein is facing up to three years in prison and is currently free on a 10 percent of $30,000 bond.
“I think what is important is that Heidi and the alleged victim are now in a fully consensual, adult, healthy, loving relationship,” said Malarcik. “The alleged victim in the case did not want there to be any criminal charges. She did not want Heidi to be prosecuted. The prosecutor’s office understandably made the decision to file the charges, which we totally understand under the circumstances.”
The former student’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at email@example.com.