A Pennsylvania teacher who seduced a 16-year-old pupil was caught when his girlfriend uncovered ‘raunchy’ text messages on his phone.
Melissa Bonkoski, 38, believed she was being ‘smart’ by using a burner phone to conceal the short-lived relationship.
The 38-year-old kissed the teenager in her car multiple times, allowed him to touch her breasts, and discussed having oral sex, a court heard.
In December 2016, Bonkoski groomed the young pupil by offering him lifts home after school, showing an interest in his schoolwork and eventually luring him back to her house by inviting him to watch TV and letting him stay the night.
According to a criminal complaint, Bonkoski’s history with the victim dates back to December 1, 2015, reports The Reading Eagle. He claimed he was left upset and ‘in shock’ because he ‘never thought he would kiss a teacher’.
Prosecutor Emily Provencher said:
The victim wanted the teacher to stop. He was worried if he stopped kissing the teacher she would not give him rides home anymore.
After the upset student put a stop to the relationship, Bonkoski was said to have become obsessed with the pupil. The former science teacher and softball coach sent him messages pleading with him not to stop seeing her.
Whatever you do, please don’t shut me out. I’m begging you.
Investigators told the court Bonkoski groomed her student with a flurry of salacious text messages sent from a disposable mobile phone.
She was discovered when the pupil’s suspicious girlfriend scanned his phone and found the messages from Bonkoski, who admitted to police she did not think the phone would record the text messages.
Based on initial police interviews with both the teacher and the victim, who will remain anonymous, authorities were unclear over the exact nature of the sexual relationship.
During an August 11 interview, Bonkoski told police she had had sex with the victim, but, at the time, the student claimed that he had slept in her bed. Later that month the victim confirmed that the two did have sex for the first time in December 2016.
Bonkoski resigned as a science teacher from Owen J. Roberts High School, Pennsylvania, after education bosses demanded she quit when she was charged last August.
She is now facing up to 36 months in jail after pleading guilty to institutional sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor.
Bonkoski also faces 25 years of mandatory reporting to police. She was freed on bail to be sentenced at a later date.