Crime & Courts

February 19, 2013

Former Clearwater teacher pleads guilty in indecent liberties case

A former Clearwater Middle School teacher on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of indecent liberties with a child in connection with a yearlong relationship she maintained with a 15-year-old boy.

A former Clearwater Middle School teacher on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of indecent liberties with a child in connection with a yearlong relationship she maintained with a 15-year-old boy.

Cathleen Balman, 40, entered her plea the day before her bench trial, set to start Wednesday in Sedgwick County District Court, said Georgia Cole, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.

She originally faced three counts of indecent liberties with a child, Cole said; two were dismissed. All involved the same boy, she said.

Balman’s sentencing is set for 8:45 a.m. April 19 in Judge Terry Pullman’s courtroom. She was released from custody Oct. 31, 2011, after posting $250,000 bond, Cole said.

Balman, then 39, was arrested Oct. 14, 2011, after interviews with the teacher and others led authorities to believe she had been involved with the boy, a former student. She was a middle school language arts teacher at the time.

The Clearwater school board fired Balman five days after her arrest, Danielle Hollas, the district’s assistant superintendent, said Tuesday by phone. Balman joined the school district in August 2008 after teaching second-graders for one year at Argonia Elementary School.

In Kansas, it’s illegal for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student of any age.

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