The trial of former Kennebunk High School Teacher Jill Lamontagne, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student in 2017, is underway in York County Superior Court. Credit: Shawn St. Hilaire | Seacoast Online

ALFRED, Maine — Prosecutors said Monday that now-former Kennebunk High School teacher Jill Lamontagne used social media and text messages to communicate with the student she stands accused of sexually assaulting “in the classroom, in her car and at her house.”

The defense opened a trial in York County Superior Court by saying Lamontagne never assaulted the teen and was trying to help him.

Lamontagne is facing six counts of gross sexual assault, two counts of unlawful sexual contact and six counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Lamontagne is alleged to have engaged in sex acts a number of times in May 2017 with the then 17-year-old student.

Prosecutors told the jury Lamontagne offered to help the teen, who was struggling academically, and that the two began communicating via Snapchat and text messages. York County Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan told the jury they will hear during the trial that the victim fell in love with Lamontagne.

Defense attorney Scott Gardner described Lamontagne as “the face of Kennebunk High School” and someone who was “disciplined, focused and organized.” He said she has lived her whole life in Kennebunk, is a 2006 graduate of KHS and became a health teacher there in 2012.

“To Jill, this was her dream job,” he said, adding that she was adviser to the Interact Club and the Class of 2018 adviser.

Gardner said Lamontagne had the student in health class his sophomore year and volunteered to help him because he was struggling to graduate. Lamontagne learned through a fellow teacher in March 2017 about a rumor of a sexual relationship between her and the student, Gardner said, and immediately notified the school’s administration. A police investigation was concluded with no action, he said, and the student at the time denied the rumor.

“Why would she risk the destruction of her career and family because she had the uncontrollable desire to give a 17-year-old (oral sex) at 7:30 in the morning in her classroom?” he asked in court, addressing the jury.

In the courtroom Monday, a group of Lamontagne’s supporters wore blue.

The trial resumed after a lunch break Monday afternoon.

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