The Kitsap Sun reports that Nicole Elizabeth Hebner, a former Bainbridge High School soccer coach, pled guilty last week to having sex with a student.
Hebner, now 36, was initially charged with a felony for first degree sexual misconduct. Through a plea deal, she admitting to having a sexual relationship with a student who was 18 years old at the time and a senior at Bainbridge High. Her charge was reduced to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.
From the Sun:
Hebner was also a teacher at Sakai Intermediate School but is not accused of relations with any Sakai students. Hebner was placed on administrative leave by the district when it learned of the allegations. She later resigned.
Two men accused of having sex with teenagers reached similar deals recently and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation. Former North Kitsap High School teacher Michael Carnegie was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student and pleaded guilty. Also last week, a retired doctor and East Bremerton Rotary club member, Larry Iversen, pleaded guilty to having sex with an exchange student. Both men received 30-day sentences.
Hebner is the second Bainbridge Island School District employee to be charged with sexual misconduct with a student since 2015. Jessica Fuchs pleaded guilty to having sex with a student and then encouraging him to lie to investigators to protect her.
The alleged victim, a female soccer player, told the Sun in January 2017, that the relationship began after she turned 18 and lasted her entire senior year. After an acquantance disclosed the relationship to authorities and an investigation began, Hebner apparently had no further contact with the student, who told the Sun she did not think Hepner deserved to be prosecuted. The age of consent in Washington state is 16, unless the older party is a school official or has official authority over the minor.
Hebner was sentenced to 30 days in custody.