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Former teacher pleads no contest in sexting case

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published April 18. 2013 10:00AM   Updated April 18. 2013 11:57PM

A former history teacher at Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic who was charged with exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a student has accepted a plea offer involving a suspended prison sentence.

Robert S. Pfeiffer, 31, of Hebron, will be sentenced June 25 to five years in prison, fully suspended, followed by five years probation. He will not be required to register as a sexual offender.

Pfeiffer was scheduled to go to trial in New London Superior court on April 24. Prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman and defense attorney Michael A. Blanchard had selected a jury and Judge Arthur C. Hadden was to preside at the trial. Pfeiffer accepted the state's offer to plead no contest to risk of injury to a minor on Tuesday.

Hired by the all-girls Catholic school in August 2008, Pfeiffer resigned in April 2010 after a 14-year-old student's friends saw the texts and threatened to report him, according to an arrest warrant affidavit from state police Detective Christopher Greer.

Pfeiffer also had a late night meeting with the girl in a basement room at the school, according to the affidavit, which says the girl brought along a friend and that she jerked her hand away when Pfeiffer attempted to make her touch him.

On April 17, 2010, Pfeiffer went to the principal, Sister Loreto Beckstein, and told her he was "texting hypothetical scenarios to ensure that (the girl) would be able to say 'no' to boys in the future." Pfeiffer then resigned, according to the affidavit.

Detectives interviewed the girl and her friends but could not recover the text messages, which they said the girl deleted from her prepaid cell phone. They also did not recover the texts from Pfeiffer's Verizon Wireless account and were told text information was available for only three to five days.

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