Speaking in terse statements from the witness stand, a 15-year-old male testified that he first had sex with his eighth-grade teacher in her classroom at T.L. Handy Middle School in Bay City after school let out for the day around Christmastime of the 2012-2013 school year.
“She asked me to stay after class,” said the teen during the preliminary examination of Sarah M. Raymo, held Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Bay County District Court. “And then we started talking. And we laid down and watched a movie. And then we kissed. And I took my pants off and she took off her pants.”
After being led into the courtroom from the Bay County Jail in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, the 31-year-old Raymo sat across the courtroom, not looking up at the teen.
For most of his testimony, the teen answered the yes-or-no questions posed to him by Bay County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Nancy E. Borushko and defense attorney Matthew L. Reyes.
Raymo taught at T.L. Handy Middle School, where the teen attended. The teen said the sex started around the winter break of the 2012-2013 school year. He was 14 years old at the time. Before the sex started, he and Raymo would have conversations via text messages and she would buy him alcohol, cigarettes and food, he testified.
Raymo also would send him nude photos of herself via text messages, the teen said, though he added he deleted the photos, no longer has the phone they were originally sent to and cannot provide proof of their existence.
The teen estimated he and Raymo had sex a total of six to eight times, the last sexual contact being in the summer of 2013. At times, the sex would occur at the school, while on other occasions Raymo would pick him up and take him to her Essexville home.
Reyes at one point asked the teen if Raymo ever told him to keep their liaison quiet.
“She said, ‘Don’t tell anyone ’cause I could get in a lot of trouble,'” the teen testified.
The teen testified that at some point he told several male friends of what transpired between him and his teacher.
Bay City Public Schools Superintendent Douglas Newcombe previously said that school officials became aware of rumors circulating about a teacher having sex with a student on Monday, Jan. 13, and that they notified police the same day. The teen was later interviewed at the Nathan Weidner Children’s Advocacy Center.
At the Wednesday hearing, the teen said he was not truthful with some of what he told the forensic interviewer, saying he did not want to get Raymo in trouble. The teen said he had not seen Raymo since the summer, though about three months ago, they had exchanged non-sexual text messages, he said.
Police arrested Raymo the night of Tuesday, Jan. 14, and she was arraigned the next day on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a life offense.
After the teen testified, Borushko said she did not intend to call additional witnesses. Reyes then asked for an adjournment so he could subpoena witnesses of his own and Bay County Chief District Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted the request and scheduled the hearing to continue at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Reyes also asked Kelly to reduce his client’s $250,000 bond, saying she has strong ties to the community and no criminal record. Borushko objected, stating the fact Raymo was in a position of authority over children is of great concern to her office.
Kelly did not reduce Raymo’s bond. She remains housed in the Bay County Jail.