An ex-teacher from Milwaukee was sentenced to five years in prison last week for making sexual contact with a “chronically depressed” student after telling investigators that she only engaged in the reprehensible act to cheer the victim up.
25-year-old Katherine R. Gonzalez pleaded guilty in August to second-degree sexual assault of a child, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. On Thursday, a judge decided that while Gonzalez lacks any criminal record and has been on her best behavior since making bail in March, her “predacious” behavior must be punished appropriately.
The charge stems from an incident back in February that saw the victim’s mother take his phone away as punishment. A few days later, the phone began buzzing at 3:30 am with messages from Gonzalez that were so shocking that the mother immediately went to police.
When interviewed by investigators, the victim claimed that he and Gonzalez were communicating on Snapchat shortly before the former teacher picked him up in her car. She then kissed the boy and placed his hand on her genitals.
Gonzalez took the 11-year-old to her apartment to watch a movie while rubbing her hand on the victim’s groin and forcing him to touch her breasts over her clothing. The texts that the victim’s mother saw Gonzalez send her son referenced him touching her “down there.”
While Assistant District Attorney Matthew Torbenson recommended an unspecified prison term as part of the plea agreement, defense attorney Richard Hart argued for a minimal prison term, claiming that a psychologist had deemed Gonzalez’s chance to victimize another young person to be very low.
Gonzalez, who was formerly on staff at Atlas Preparatory Academy in Bay View, will also spend seven years on extended supervision following her prison sentence.