FONDA – A Johnstown woman who previously served as a special education teacher with HFM BOCES has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual act related to a former student, Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond said Thursday.
Kristin M. Bellinger, 39, of Johnstown, entered the guilty plea Wednesday to one count of second-degree criminal sexual act, a felony.
She is to be sentenced in April.
Bellinger admitted to having oral sex with a former 13-year-old student she was tutoring at home, outside of her job as a special education teacher, Diamond said.
Bellinger was initially arrested last June after an investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
She was accused of raping the child over a period of time in 2019, officials said then.
Bellinger had provided at-home tutoring to the child outside of her role as a special education teacher with Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES, officials said then.
The student first reported the allegations to HFM BOCES administrators. Police, the student’s family and the state Education Department were notified immediately, HFM BOCES said then.
She was then placed on immediate leave and was no longer working with HFM BOCES at the time of her arrest, officials said then.
Diamond credited sheriff’s investigators with securing the evidence in the case necessary for conviction and the New York State Police for processing it.
The case was prosecuted by assistant District Attorneys Katherine White and Ashley Meza.