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Salem Teacher Pleads Guilty To Criminal Recklessness

Last updated on Friday, December 21, 2012

(SALEM) - Salem teacher Laura Mahuron pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness after police found several teenagers had been consuming alcohol at a Salem High School graduation party last spring.

Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin says Laura Mahuron recklessly performed an act that creates a substantial risk of injury to another person. In this case - having young people consuming alcohol on her property.

Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, of The Leader-Democrat, reports Mahuron, along with her husband, John Mahuron, was originally charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, an A misdemeanor.

According to Mahuron's attorney Tom Scifres, media coverage of the incident inaccurately implied the couple provided alcohol to teens.

"It's important that everybody realize this is not a situation where parents went out and bought alcohol and threw a party for their kids," said Scifres. "There was a party earlier in the day; this was supposed to be a small gathering of friends. In the late hours, it turned into much bigger deal than what was originally planned. ... The alcohol came from other sources, kids bringing it onto their property, many of whom weren't even invited."

Houchin said, the crime was not furnishing the alcohol, but recklessly allowing it to go on at her home.

After an anonymous caller reported teenagers were drinking on the Mahurons' property on Rush Creek Road, police responded and found a large gathering. Many teens fled on foot, but others were detained. Eleven teens over age 18 tested positive for alcohol were charged with minor consumption, a C misdemeanor. Fourteen juveniles also tested positive for alcohol.

The terms of the agreement are as follows: Mahuron receives a criminal conviction for criminal recklessness; she must perform 100 hours of community service; she's required to attend a drug and alcohol class; she is required to attend a victim impact panel, which is a program designed to highlight the dangers associated with alcohol related crimes; and she will be on formal probation for nine months, which includes a monthly check-in requirement.

The criminal case is separate from what was imposed by the school corporation.

Earlier this year, the Salem School Board voted to suspend Mahuron without pay for one year. She also is responsible for her health insurance costs this year. In her position as a teacher at Salem Middle School, Mahuron made $54,370.

John Mahuron is represented by attorney John Mead. His case is still pending.

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