BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A middle school social studies teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl accepted a tentative agreement Friday that she will plead guilty to five counts of aggravated indecent assault in exchange for two other charges being withdrawn.
Keri Ann Marie Brekne, 28, of the 2600 block of Madison Avenue in Bethlehem, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday before District Judge James Narlesky.
Brekne, a teacher at Lopatcong Township Middle School, was arrested in January and accused of abusing the girl between July and January.
The victim told authorities Brekne would drive her from her Warren County home to Brekne's Bethlehem home, where the abuse allegedly occurred.
Brekne, who is suspended from her teaching job with pay, was originally charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors. Prosecutors agreed to drop the involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors charges in exchange for a guilty plea on four additional counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Pat Broscius said each count of aggravated indecent assault carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse carries up to 20 years in prison.
Brekne's attorney, Scott Wilhelm of Phillipsburg, said his client tentatively agreed to the plea because she wants to move forward.
"She's looking to try to resolve the matter in a way that allows her to get on with her life and to spare the victim any unnecessary stress," he said.
Brekne is also facing charges in New Jersey for allegedly assaulting the girl in Lopatcong Township between June and September. In that case, she is charged with second-degree sexual assault, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
Note from Gag:My goodness the world needs more heroes like Keri Ann Breckne. Yep, not only will she admit to her sex crime publicly but she's nobly doing so to spare her vulnerable, young victim any unnecessary stress!
I, for one, will spend the entire time of Keri's sentence reflecting on this remarkable woman and I'm almost positively sure her young friend will, too.
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