A teacher at Daniel Hand High School in Madison is facing sexual assault charges over "misconduct" involving a student-athlete in an incident the school superintendent described as "vile and disgusting."
Allison J. Marchese, 37, of Madison, turned herself in to Madison police on Thursday. A warrant issued for her arrest charges her with second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury and impairing the morals of a child.
Police said the risk of injury charge pertains to an incident with a second male student and is separate from the sexual assault charge.
The school website lists Marchese as an English and Language Arts teacher and yearbook adviser at Daniel Hand High School. Neighbors living near Marchese's home in Madison said her husband is also a teacher at the school.
"She has two children – two small children over there – I do know that. But I know the husband, and he's a nice, nice guy," said neighbor Earl Sandstrom. "I feel sorry for the kids involved, and I feel sorry for her, too."
Marchese was arrested about a month after authorities launched an investigation into her conduct Jan. 7.
Madison Supt. Thomas Scarice said in a statement Thursday that school officials immediately reported the incident to police after the Department of Children and Families informed them of the allegations against Marchese.
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"I find the alleged conduct of this teacher vile and disgusting. The bond of trust between a professional educator and a student is fragile and precious. The violation of this bond is nothing less than reprehensible," Scarice said in a statement Thursday. "The district will take the most aggressive actions possible to see to it that any individual who abuses this bond is removed from the profession and brought to justice."
Scarice said such behaviors on the part of teachers "abuse students, traumatize the school communities, and leave a black mark on the entire teaching profession."
"Such conduct is unspeakable," Scarice added.
The superintendent said administrators will communicate details of the situation to parents and students in an appropriate way and will offer support services to students as they come to terms with the incident.
At the time the allegations surfaced, school officials would only say a teacher had been placed on leave, but declined to release Marchese's name or any information about her.
Marchese was released from custody Thursday after posting an $100,000 court-set bond, according to police. She is due in court in New Haven on Feb. 24.
No one answered the door at Marchese's home Thursday. Information on an attorney for Marchese was not immediately available.