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JCMS aide, coach pleads not guilty to abuse charges


(Update: Enters plea, released on bail after court appearance; some parents upset with district handling of situation)

A 25-year-old educational assistant and assistant track coach at Jefferson County Middle School was released on bail after pleading not guilty Friday to 11 charges of sexually abusing a male student under 14 years of age over several months earlier this year.

Kristin Elaine Stickler of Madras was arrested and booked into the county jail Friday morning as directed before her initial court appearance before Circuit Judge Annette Hillman. She later posted 10 percent of her $250,000 bail and was released.

Now that Stickler is out on bail, the judge has set several conditions she must adhere to:

— She cannot come into contact with alcohol or marijuana.

— She cannot come into contact with any minors, except for her 5 year-old son.

— She cannot have access to the internet or social media.

— She cannot contact the alleged victim or his family

— She must remain on house arrest and cannot leave her home unless accompanied by another adult .

Stickler was indicted Thursday on one count of first-degree online sexual corruption, five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count each of second-degree sodomy and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Ten of the 11 charges are Class B and Class C felonies, while endangering the welfare of a minor is a Class A misdemeanor.

Jefferson County District Attorney Steven Leriche said each of the Class B felonies is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The Class C felonies (second-degree sexual abuse) carry up to a five-year prison term and a fine of $125,000 each, while the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.

Stickler’s next scheduled court date is a case status hearing set for July 19 at 11:30 a.m.

Leriche said sheriff’s office investigators and Madras police were made aware April 22 of allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Stickler and a student at the school.

Leriche said Jefferson County School District 509-J immediately placed her on administrative leave and barred Stickler from any interaction with students.

Sheriff’s detectives and Madras police worked with investigators from the Oregon State Police and Bend Police Department to look into the allegations, leading to a grand jury indictment, the district attorney said.

The indictment alleges Stickler engaged in sexual conduct, including sexual intercourse, with a boy she was coaching between January and April of this year and went online as early as Dec. 1,2018, ” to solicit a child to engage in sexual contact. ”

The charge of endangering the welfare of a minor accuses Stickler of allowing the student to remain in a place where illegal use of controlled substances occurred.

The school district said Thursday that Stickler had worked for the district since October 2017.

In a letter sent to Jefferson County Middle School parents Thursday, Principal Simon White said school administrators were made aware April 22 of child abuse allegations against Stickler.

” We immediately contacted law enforcement and placed this employee on administrative leave, ” White wrote. ” The district and staff have cooperated fully with law enforcement, while respecting the legal rights and privacy of students and staff involved in this investigation. ”

Meanwhile, some parents of middle schoolers said Friday they are upset about how late they were notified and by what they say, a lack of action taken by the school district. One parent claims students who police interviewed were either threatened or suspended from school.

” The kids weren’t the criminals in the investigation — the teacher was, ” said parent Sara Lockey . ” So what I would’ve liked to see is the children more protected and the teacher being treated like the criminal, instead of the kids being bullied. They were just doing what they were supposed to do. They were the ones that came forward with this information and helped to get her where she is today. ”

Lockey said parents should have been notified the day Stickler was placed on leave, and she alleged Stickler also tried to communicate with her son by Snapchat . Lockey also said her son, who was called a snitch, will no longer attend Jefferson County Middle School.

Oregon court records show no previous criminal history for Stickler.

Leriche said Thursday the investigation is still active.

” Given Stickler’s employment and proximity to children, anyone with additional information about these allegations is asked to contact Detective Jason Pollock or Detective Steve Webb at 541-475-2201, ” he said in a news release. That information also was shared in the principal’s letter to parents.

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