A 22-year-old former long-term substitute teacher at Hyde Park Middle School will plead guilty to charges she had an affair with a 15-year-old male student, her lawyer said Friday.
Tanikka “Bella” Queen will plead guilty to two felonies, one count each of luring a child to engage in a sexual act and sexual conduct by a school employee and a pupil.
A hearing is set in District Court for April 21.
Queen faces a possible sentence of probation or 2- to 21-years in prison. Her sentence will depend strongly on the results of a psycho-sexual exam. If she’s found to be a high risk to r-offend she will likely be sentenced to prison.
Queen’s lawyer, John Momot, said, “It’s a very difficult situation. In light of the evidence, it appears to be the best resolution for Tanikka.”
As part of a deal, prosecutors agreed to drop 43 other counts against Queen.
The affair was uncovered in March when the parent of a female student, with whom Queen had a friendship, found text messages on the girl’s phone referring to the affair, according to court papers.
The boy’s father also became suspicious when his son came home with a hickey.
Queen, who taught geography at the middle school near Valley View and Charleston boulevards, initially denied having an affair with her student, according to police reports. In one interview with detectives, Queen described the boy as a troubled eighth-grader who was repeating the grade for the third time.
But school district police recovered from a cellphone about 2,400 text messages, 108 phone calls and 38 photographs sent between Queen and the boy that showed a burgeoning love affair that began around Valentine’s Day.
“Remember no matter how I act at school I still love you with all my heart,” Queen wrote in one text, according to police.
Queen eventually admitted to spending too much time with the boy and kissing him. In one interview, she told detectives she had sex with the boy while she was house sitting for a friend, according to a report.
Meanwhile, on Friday Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Sciscento lowered Queen’s bail to $50,000. The judge ordered that if she’s released on bail she will be placed on house arrest and was to have no contact with anyone under 18 and have no access to the Internet.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @fjmccabe