Most of the stories in the press today with have teacher and student combined with sex in the title are quite easy to figure out. Not this one though. An Idaho teacher who was accused of having sex with a student was found not guilty by a jury of her peers as the jurors followed her attorney’s statement that the boy simply wanted money.
Ms. Nicole Thiel, 48 years old, was acquitted after her legal team made the believable claim that the boy accusing her didn’t really have a case and was just out for money.
The teacher, who risked a 25-year jail term if found guilty, had always maintained her innocence, even though the school immediately placed her ‘on leave’ after the charges were filed.
Given the absence of physical evidence in the case, the jury relied solely on witness testimony for the ruling.
The prosecution team claimed that Ms. Thiel had sex with the boy both in late 2015 and early 2016, each time at her own condominium. The student was 16 years old at the time.
However, Ms. Thiel’s attorney, Mr. Michael Palmer, convinced the jurors when he pleaded that ‘the student has a massive incentive to get her convicted.’ First of all the mother of the boy was filing a claim against the Lake Pend Oreille School District, so a win, in this case, would help the boy’s mother win her case against the school.
Secondly, there were major discrepancies in the boy’s account of the sexual encounters. He claimed that he found Ms. Thiel crying and tried to console her, and then afterward she started kissing him because she claimed not having had sex for six years. After the sexual encounters, the boy said he would go and smoke cigarettes on her balcony, which the defense attorney proved to be impossible as the balcony was too small and inaccessible for his to step outside on.
After the not guilty verdict, it was not clear whether Ms. Thiel would be able to return to her former position Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.