This from the Enquirer:Acquitted Nicole Howell Denied Sex With StudentFrom Start; Didn't Stop Arrest, Trial
Former teacher Nicole Howell was found not guilty last week of having had a sexual relationship with a student, but that did not stop the rumor from destroying her career, getting her arrested and ruining her life, she said today.
Nicole Howell talks about the allegations that ruined her career.
"My life is ruined. Completely," Howell told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview. "My name has been dragged through the mud. I won't be able to teach again. Not because I did anything -- I did not -- but because of the situation."
Her ordeal started in December, when she was suspended from her job as a teacher and assistant cheerleading coach at a Kentucky high school after one of the male students, a 16-year-old football player, claimed the two had had a sexual relationship.
Howell, 26, of Florence, denied that the encounters ever happened and argued that the only evidence against her were the ramblings of a high school kid who, at first, claimed the two had been involved in a threesome with another male student.
Investigators arrested Howell the next month on felony sex abuse charges.
"I think, honestly, it started because people overreacted," Howell said today. "They took something that they thought looked like what they wanted it to look like -- like a stereotype, 'a teacher is accused by a student,' and automatically, it happened. ... That's why I went to trial." ...
With no physical evidence presented at trial, it took jurors only 70 minutes to find Dayton High School teacher Nicole Howell not guilty of having sex with a 16-year-old student who played football.
The majority of the case hinged on whether jurors believed what the student claimed (he also contended the sex was consensual), or Howell, who took the stand in her own defense....
Howell's case was one of the first to be prosecuted under a more-stringent state law that makes it a felony for a person in authority to have even consensual sexual relations with someone under 18. In all other instances in Kentucky, the age of consent is considered to be 16....