A young, married teacher in Michigan who was fired earlier this week amid allegations of having sex with two students – including one illicit romp inside a car – is now facing criminal charges, authorities said.
The former special education teacher, Kathryn Marie Houghtaling, is set to be arraigned Friday on six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe told the Detroit News.
Houghtaling, 26, was fired Tuesday from Rochester High School after an internal investigation by Rochester Community Schools. District officials said the alleged incidents occurred outside of school hours.
But sources told WXYZ that Houghtaling – whose social media accounts were largely wiped clean of identifying data as of Friday – had sex with two students in both an apartment and a car.
The district’s superintendent notified parents of the allegations in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the charges are related to incidents involving “inappropriate conduct” with students outside of school hours.
“The safety and welfare of our students and staff is always our primary concern,” read the statement, which was obtained by The Post. “The district fully cooperated with law enforcement officials throughout the investigation. In order to protect the integrity of the criminal investigation process, the district did not publicly disclose any information that could have a negative impact on the case while the investigation was pending.”
Houghtaling, of Sterling Heights, did not return a message seeking comment early Friday, It’s unclear whether she has hired an attorney.
Some of the teacher’s neighbors, meanwhile, said they were shocked by the accusations.
“You expect the best when your student goes to school,” neighbor Lazette Parks told WXYZ. “Whatever she did, I’m quite sure the board did what they needed to do.”
Another neighbor, Bart Fox, said he’s having a hard time coming to grips with what Houghtaling allegedly did.
“That’s gross, that’s disgusting,” Fox told the station. “I mean, she should be embarrassed of herself.”
Fox said he’s now concerned about the safety of his own family.
“My daughter, really she plays out here in the summertime with a whole bunch of kids from down the street,” he said. “Like, are they really safe?”
Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton told the Detroit Free Press that at least one of Houghtaling’s alleged encounters with the students, which occurred in November and December, took place inside a car.
Houghtaling, who also previously taught in Pontiac, is now facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted, the Detroit Free Press reported.