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Par Hills Teacher Had Sex With 16-Year-Old Student, Prosecutor Says

Jenna Leahey's relationship with the teen allegedly began with the exchange of sexually explicit pictures sent to the student.

A Parsippany Hills High School teacher was charged with criminal sexual contact Saturday after Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said Jenna Leahey had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

Leahey, 32, of Morristown, was also charged with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in addition to the two counts of the fourth degree criminal sex act charge. If convicted, she faces a mandatory 20-year prison sentence.

Leahey became involved with the student in January, Knapp said, when the two began exchanging "explicit text messages" and Leahey "sent sexually explicit pictures of herself to him," according to a press statement.

"The relationship allegedly progressed physically to acts of kissing and mutual sexual contact and continued through June 6, 2013," Knapp said. "These acts occurred on and off school grounds."

Authorities became aware of the relationship after the student spoke to a staff member at the school about them, according to Knapp. Knapp said the school is cooperating through the investigation.

Leahey is being held on $100,000 bail with no 10 percent option and was ordered to have no contact with the student or children under 18 years old. 

Knapp thanked Det. Edward Mitreuter of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit and Det. Keith Duffy of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department for assisting with the arrest.

Anyone with information about the situation is asked to contact the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department Detective Bureau at 973-263-4300.

Gordon Rizzuto June 10, 2013 at 02:56 PM
"These acts occurred on and off school grounds." I really hope it is not true that it did occur on school grounds. If it did how could nobody put 2 and 2 together. I left Wayne where kids were ganging up and beating kids. Now I move to Parsippany where something disgusting like this happens. People wonder why kids don't listen to their teachers? To often teachers ABUSE their authority over kids. It's ridiculous.
g June 10, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Gordon, Teachers and administrators have only one thing in mind, salary increase. They have a blind eye to everything else. Bullying they don't see. Failing grades. they don't see. Statutory rape they don't see. Contract isn't renewed they se it everyday
Cris June 11, 2013 at 02:29 AM
I find what this teacher did is disgusting. I am a teacher and respect my students as they respect me. I am offended and saddened that people would generalize this illegal and immoral behavior to all teachers.
James June 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM
g you must be out of your mind. Do you think any teacher would knowingly accept this behavior? Did you ever give any thought of how many teachers are parents? Would those teachers want this to happen to their children or anybody else's for that matter.
Gordon Rizzuto June 11, 2013 at 01:35 PM
I'm not going to say ALL teachers would knowingly accept this behavior. At the same time I'm not going to say all of them won't. Not because I have issues with teachers but there are so MANY teachers. I think a Major majority would report it but some would not. But G is right. Maybe not on this particular issue but fact of the matter is Teachers and administrators do turn a blind eye on alot of issues. The thing is though if did happen on school grounds. 1000 kids Over 100 faculty members. Doesn't something sound wrong here? If STUFF did happen on school grounds.
Lala June 11, 2013 at 04:39 PM
This lady was my teacher and she is a great person . Now yes what she did wasnt right and no one should have to hear this about their town and the school their kid attends too . But he is a 16 year old boy who was aware of what he was doing as well and it wasnt just for a little it was six months so he knew well enough what was going on or else je would habe told sooner . Now better off people keeping their judgements to themselves because no one really knows what actually happened and the kid who said what happened is known to be a talker so i wouldnt judge before knowing the actual things that occurred .
Bill Wall June 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I agree that because of the way our criminal justice system is set up, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. Anyone can accuse anyone of criminal activity. That is not proof and until such time as a trial takes place and all of the evidence is brought to bear, we would all be better off refraining from passing judgement.
B.D. June 11, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Someday when you grow up Lala, you'll understand that regardless of this 16 year old boys actions, an educated, adult female, who is employed to be an authority figure, mentor... someone parents expect their children to be taught by and feel safe and protected around.. someone that is twice this childs age, should automatically know better than to engage in any sort of relationship with a student. You children think you know the ins and outs of sex, but this is new to you and when you grow up youll understand that having sex before youre mentally ready is damaging and none of you kids are truly ready and prepared to enter that world yet. An adult who chooses to engage n sex acts with children has some sort of mental illness and should not be teaching children. So little girl if youre going to open your mouth and say something ignorant, or alluding towards knowing more to the story and being so defensive about it... speak up then. If you think you're adult enough to put your two cents in then really do it, say what you have to say.
1fairguy June 11, 2013 at 06:53 PM
First of all "Gordon," shame on you for not doing your research ahead of time and realizing Par schools are not as good as Wayne schools! "Kids don't listen to their teachers" because parents (probably like you) have not taught them the meaning of respect. I'm sure if you have a job there are people like this too! How can you label all teachers based on the actions of a few? I'm guessing you do the same with every profession except yours! Maybe you could have gotten you kid(s) a gym membership, rather than moving them to a lesser school, that is if it's the real reason you moved....which I doubt!
1fairguy June 11, 2013 at 06:56 PM
"Gordon" since "Teachers and administrators do turn a blind eye on alot of issues," I guess you can say the same about parents whose children OD too right? You have NO IDEA what they did and din't know!
1fairguy June 11, 2013 at 06:59 PM
"Lala" a "great person" would not have done this to a student! BTW, the pics and texts wont lie!
Katelynne June 11, 2013 at 09:33 PM
I used to go to the school and after I graduated they installed cameras so either they were being really sneaky and minimal with in-school contact or whoever watches those cameras just really doesn't care. And for you people bashing the par school system, its a hell of a lot better than surrounding schools like dover, boonton and morristown so keep your comments to yourself. If you don't like the system then leave!
Gordon Rizzuto June 12, 2013 at 12:28 AM
I moved here for my own reasons. However since you are a teacher you can obviously answer this question. Earlier in the school year my my child had their phone taken away. It was the first time it had been taken away. I told them if that is the rule to have their phone taken away then that is the rule. However I was surprised to learn that another kid had their phone out alot more then my daughter and it would never get taken away. This was confirmed by other kids. The teacher would only tell her to put it away and not take it. I emailed the teacher to see if it was true. She admitted it was. Turns out the kid was a daughter of a teacher. I asked the Principal if there were different rules for different kids. He said No. I told him what had happened and I told him I'd be going to the board if it happened again. He assured me it would not. Why was the teacher turning a blind eye. Also I can say in my entire work life did I not know one person who had Direct responsibility over an individual have a relationship with that individual. Also you have to remember in NON teaching professions you can ACTUALLY get fired. So we have to actually do work. In my company we don't have time do do things like that on the work grounds. Also I think a majority of Parsippany teachers who I've met are excellent. The only reason I said not all of them is because there are SO many teachers. By the way fair guy I do agree with you on the OD thing. Parents too turn a blind eye. It's disgusting.
Joan McGinley June 12, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I know both parties and have 2 boys that go to Par Hills. I feel like bragging rights fell upon the boy (who I know very well) and he could not keep it a secret any longer. While Ms. Leahey did what she did, the boy could have said "no" and reported it either to the principal or told "his parents" about it. It takes 2. He knew it was wrong as well as she. I think the whole thing is sad, for she now lost a job and has no income because of stupidity and he now gets asked "how was it" which makes me sick to my stomach. I feel bad for his parents, they have to listen to all the rumors - it's nothing to be proud of!
Gordon Rizzuto June 12, 2013 at 04:01 AM
The whole thing is sad. However she's in her thirties. She SHOULD know better. The kid is exactly that a kid. A KID. I have no sympathy for this lady if she is indeed found guilty. However I do sympathize for the teachers because this lady makes them all look bad. This will leave a dark cloud over them for years to come. While I may not like a teacher because of a certain thing. It takes a MONSTER to do something like this.Just think how embarassing it will be for teachers to say they teach at PHHS. It was probably something they used to be proud of. Probably not so much anymore. Not to mention you're going to have people saying " If there's one there's probably more". Now if it is proven that things did happen on school grounds people are going to want answer as to how nobody realized this was going on. 1200 kids. Over 100 staff members. 6 months of things going on. Nobody saw a thing? Not 1 person? Doesn't something sound totally wrong here?
Renee June 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I am FLOORED by this story. I graduated from highschool with her. I can't even get over this lack of judgement. She should know better. As a parent of a child in the school district, any adult should know better, especially an adult entrusted with educating children. As a taxpayer.....suspended with pay? I understand innocent until proven guilty, but innocent with pay until proven guilty is a different story.
Anonymous Woman June 13, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I don't get it. What is attractive about a 16 year old boy? I don't think I'd quite call her a pedophile, because they usually go for younger kids and at 16 he's definitely not a man. She's just an irresponsible, immature, moron who deserves the worst they can give her. I think with people like her it's all about the danger and the rush. They are bored with their lives, so they do something dangerous or taboo. And now she gets to live the consequences of "excitement". At least when I was in Par High the male teachers and coaches waited to sleep and drink with the female students until they were all 18 and close to graduating.
Wilnj June 14, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Is someone on the Patch asleep at the switch?
Pete June 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM
So should we have DEGREES of innocence ? "Innocent", and "Innocent but penalized anyway" ? And who decides who gets which ? Don't forget that our government is still paying a full salary to the Fort Hood shooter.
Mike June 15, 2013 at 01:30 PM
She will end up with a far less severe sentence than if the genders were reversed. Heck, I know a district where male students were sent to a certain female teacher if they were behavior problems. After a "chat", no more behavior problems. She was fired, I believe.
Concerned Parent June 15, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Sad for all, the woman's life is ruined, the student should be in therapy. Generally, teachers are great, but do agree that rules are not enforced equally, especially in the M.S. where kids do pretty much what they want. The adm is no longer new, and nothing like when my older son went through. He knew the rules, they were enforced and consequences for both teachers and kids. Not at all like now with my younger kids. Some teachers do turn a blind eye, some enforce the rules. Kids like no rules. One of the 'bad' teachers continues to get away with calling the kids stupid and teaching nothing. My son has SN, they did not read ONE novel in English this year, but lots of photo copied pages of elementary work, and he's in 7th grade. They did not even read the novel, they listened to it. When she was going to be observed, she threatened the class they better be on their best behavior knowing she was to be observed. That day, my son said he had fun in class and was not afraid of her. Even with an Aid in the room, she gets away with this behavior. None of her kids earned an award at the EOY ceremony. She told my son's class that non of them deserved an award, they were lazy and stupid. These are the type of teachers who should be watched, or fired all together. Wake up administration, these teachers should have your full attention and not be alone with kids. She wouldn't touch them physically, but she is NO teacher and causes mental and self esteem damage.
Don Banner June 16, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Well for one thing,she is innocent until proven guilty.That being said,if true,she is an authority figure who should receive the same punishment as if the roles were reversed.Some of these comments crack me up like he knew what he was doing and could of stopped it.If the roles were reversed and it was a 16 year old girl and he was a 32 year old adult male teacher,you wouldn't be saying that.I don't know in this case but maybe the 16 year old boy was bragging,maybe not.Again,she is the authority figure and he is still a boy under the law.Last time I looked you had to be 18 to be an adult.32 compared to 16.What do we not understand?She is getting no salary because she broke the law,period if true!!
PhightinPhil June 16, 2013 at 06:41 PM
@"fairguy" I find it hypocritical that you reprimand Gordon for labeling "all teachers based on the actions of a few," and suggest that Gordon does "the same with every profession," then yourself paint with an equally wide brush by suggesting that kids don't listen to their teachers "because parents (probably like you) have not taught them the meaning of respect."
steve revette June 17, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Cp I been saying stuff like that for years about special education in Parsippany. I never liked it. I think it's more designed to make kids feel better about themselves then to actually teach them. I thrived in my special education English class but struggled desperately when I went to college. Like I told many people. I would have given up my As and Bs for Cs if it better prepared me for college. The only two times I really learned anything in English was from my freshman English teacher and my HSPA teacher in my Sophmore year. That's why the percentage of kids who've gone to CCM who were in special education had to take that special remedial English. I bet if they looked into it like Gary Martin had asked they'd be very surprised ( I wouldn't) with the results.
Marilyn P. June 17, 2013 at 03:04 PM
My children attended the Parsippany Schools. I am proud to say. They graduated and were prepared for college and life. They were taught by many excellent teachers. I am not sure where some people have gotten their information but when did Wayne Schools get to be so excellent?? What this teacher has done is never acceptable. Please do not judge the schools or the teachers by this rotten egg!!
g June 17, 2013 at 04:38 PM
ONE ROTTEN EGG??? A national survey conducted for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000 that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee between 1991 and 2000. The figures suggest "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by others. Indeed, more than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade, says the report.

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