FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student made her first court appearance on Friday.
Paige Mostella, a former special education teacher at Woodlan Jr/Sr High School, was formally charged with two class D felony counts of child seduction by a child care worker. The judge also issued a no contact order for the then 17-year-old she is accused of having sex with in early 2013. Her next hearing is scheduled for October 9.
In Indiana, a teen 16 or older can consent to engaging in sexual behavior unless it’s with a person in a position of power like a teacher, adoptive parent/grandparent or military recruiter. To see the full law, click here.
According to the affidavit for probable cause, police began their investigation on February 12, 2014 when a 19-year-old taking a polygraph test required to fulfill juvenile probation requirements told a police officer giving the test that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with a teacher at Woodlan Jr/Sr.High School in early 2013.
The teen told the officer that he and Mostella would frequently “play fight” and that during one of these encounters he became aroused and Mostella allowed him to rub up against her for several minutes. During this first encounter, the teen told the officer that Mostella didn’t say anything.
The second alleged encounter did involve sexual intercourse and again took place in her office. A third encounter described in the court document took place two days before a track meet and the teen asked Mostella if he could have sex with her because “it would improve his throwing ability during the track meet.” The teen told police that he put a jacket over the office door window so no one could see inside during these encounters. The teen also told police that all of the encounters took place in Mostella’s office and she was aware of his age..
When the teen turned 18, he claims Mostella bought him gifts that included jeans, shoes and an entire outfit. He told police that Mostella told him she could still lose her job by being with him and that the relationship was wrong, however the two would talk on the phone when her husband was at work. The teen maintained that the relationship continued until the fall of 2014.
According to Mostella’s Facebook page, she was an assistant track coach at Woodlan which may explain why the teen would go to her office. Mostella is no longer employed by Woodlan High School, which is part of East Allen County Schools.
It’s not clear if she resigned her position or was let go by the district.
East Allen County Schools issued the following statement to NewsChannel 15 on August 20:
East Allen County Schools was contacted in February by the Indiana State Police concerning an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct involving a former employee and a former student of East Allen County Schools. EACS fully cooperated with law enforcement officials during the investigation. In deference to the investigation by the Indiana State Police, we are not at liberty to discuss any further details.
The goal of East Allen County Schools is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students on a daily basis.