A former Lakewood High School teacher accused of sexually abusing a female student during a years-long relationship hopes she’ll be “totally exonerated” when more facts come to light, her lawyer said.
Mary Jahn, 52, of Lakewood, appeared Tuesday in a Long Beach courtroom to face nine sex-related felonies. She’s been behind bars since authorities arrested her Wednesday, Sept. 13.
She did not enter a plea, but, “Miss Jahn adamantly denies the charges,” defense attorney Leonard B. Levine said after the hearing.
Jahn said little during the short court date, only asking for clarification on the day of her next appearance.
As she waited, Jahn nodded quietly at a woman watching from the audience.
Jahn is charged with four counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, three counts of lewd act upon a child and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.
Prosecutors allege Jahn had a sexual relationship with a Lakewood High School student starting in July 2008 when the girl was 15 years old. That relationship continued until after the victim turned 18 in 2011, according to Deputy District Attorney Troy Davis.
Despite the sexual relationship ending, Jahn and the victim remained in contact intermittently until late April or early May this year, Davis said.
That’s around the time police began investigating and the Long Beach Unified School District put Jahn on leave from her job, according to school officials.
“We received notice (Thursday) that a Lakewood High School teacher, Mary Jahn, who had already been on leave since last May, has been arrested,” the statement said. “This case involves an alleged inappropriate relationship with a former high school student who is now an adult. The alleged relationship occurred more than six years ago, and we are working closely with our law enforcement partners so that they can gather all the facts they need. The safety and well-being of our students is always our primary concern.”
Jahn had been teaching English at Lakewood High School since 2006, according to the district.
Authorities began investigating after the student told police earlier this year about what happened, according to the district attorney’s office.
If she’s convicted, Jahn could be sentenced to a maximum of eight years and four months in state prison and be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, prosecutors said.
Jahn remains behind bars in lieu of $750,000, according to jail records.