Former Harwood Junior High counselor denies sexual relationship with student

  • In US
  • 2021-09-24 20:37:36Z
  • By Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Former Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district counselor Shannon Hathaway, 37, denied allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a former student during her testimony Friday.

Hathaway has pleaded not guilty to to eight counts of having an improper relationship with a student.

A young Dallas County man who was a student at Harwood Junior High in Bedford testified Thursday that he had sexual intercourse with Hathaway when he was 17. The alleged incident came up when the now 21-year-old man's sister alerted two school officials in May 2018.

After Harwood Junior High administrators put Hathaway on administrative leave she said she was advised by an United Educators Association attorney to resign rather than be fired, which she was told was the other outcome.

Hathaway was arrested and charged a few weeks later after an investigation. Since then, she said the last three years have been difficult for her and her family.

"When you put your heart into something and this is the outcome, it kind of ruins you," she said with a shaky voice.

On Wednesday, the prosecution said during opening statements that Hathaway had picked the perfect victim.

The former student testified that his problems included depression over the shooting death of his older brother in 2014 and lack of supervision at home as his parents worked long hours.

He said first met Hathaway at Harwood Junior High in the winter of 2016 when she took him into her office and said he was at risk of failing the ninth grade, the Star-Telegram previously reported.

In his testimony, he said he first had sex with Hathaway at her Keller home in 2016 when he, his sister and a friend of his sister spent a night at Hathaway's home. During Hathaway's testimony, she said she had given birth to her first born children, twins, by C-section in February 2016, breastfed them and would tuck them into bed at night.

The young man also testified they had sex at his Euless home and made out at her office and other rooms at Harwood Junior High, making sure they stayed away from school cameras and faculty members. He claims he decided to break off his relationship with Hathaway after his mom walked in on them naked in his bedroom.

Hathaway denied all claims of a sexual or flirtatious relationship with the former student Friday and said the man and his family members who testified were liars.

Asked by the defense if she knew it was against HEB district policy to text, call, give car rides to students or spend time with them at their homes, she acknowledged that she did. Prosecutors said Hathaway spent the night at the former student's house and would call and text him regularly.

After the jury left the courtroom, Hathaway said the man and a girl three years his junior began a sexual relationship in spring 2017. When the girl told Hathaway about it, she made a report in fall 2017. The defense said the report could have been a possible motive for the man making claims about Hathaway.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.


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