Trial scheduled for former Jeannette teacher accused of sex with student |
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Renatta Signorini
Maria Chappell

An October trial was tentatively scheduled for a former Jeannette High School teacher charged with having sex with a student.

Attorney Jeff Monzo said Friday he plans to seek work release for Maria Chappell, 40, of Mt. Pleasant Township, who has been on home electronic monitoring since her April 2016 arrest .

Police said Chappell had sexual encounters with a 16-year-old boy in her classroom and in a local motel in 2016. She confessed when confronted by the school’s former principal. She had been a teacher there for 13 years.

Chappell recently finished an education certificate for medical coding, Monzo told Judge Timothy Krieger.

Attorneys have been discussing a potential agreement without success, he said.

“The issue is with the felony charges,” Monzo said. “(Assistant District Attorney) Ms. (Karen) Patterson and I haven’t been able to reach an agreement.”

Chappell is charged with four felony counts including having sexual contact with a student.

Her confession can be used against her at trial, a judge ruled in February.

Chappell worked as an English teacher for various grade levels, according to the school district’s website. She also taught a class called “ethically speaking” to ninth-graders, the site said.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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