Twentysomething female high school teacher Mary Beth Haglin pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to sexually exploiting a 17-year-old male student with what she describes as six months of pretty much daily sex.
Haglin, who had been a long-term substitute English teacher during the 2015-2016 academic year in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa public school system, also appeared on Inside Edition earlier this week to explain to America how she was the victim of the student’s persistent seduction.
“He would come into my classroom, grab a Post-It, write something and stick it to my desk on his way out,” Haglin told Inside Edition.
One of those sticky notes — which Haglin still has — read: “I love you so much, my empress.”
“He would always call me ‘my empress,'” Haglin explained.
The fling between Haglin, 24, and the unidentified teen student lasted six months, she admitted. It was intense. She sent the teen scantily-clad images of herself. She and her paramour had sex pretty much each and every day, she said — often in her car in a public park.
The student once compared the star-crossed pair’s relationship to the tryst between Benjamin Braddock and Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate.”
The Coe College graduate totally fell for the seduction, she said.
“I was completely head over heels,” Haglin told Inside Edition.
She’s really sorry now, though.
“I never thought it would get this far and I apologize to each and every person I hurt,” Haglin added.
Her main substitute gig had been at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. That’s where she met the student.
He was not a student in any of her classes, she has said.
The sexual relationship between Haglin and the male student allegedly began as early as October and lasted until sometime in the summer, according to local NBC affiliate KWWL.
Rumors concerning the affair were rampant around Washington High.
School officials briefly investigated in February but, investigators said, they couldn’t find enough evidence.
“At that time I denied everything,” Haglin told The Cedar Rapids Gazette. “Well, I didn’t really have a chance to deny much because they basically did all the talking.”
The unidentified student also denied everything in February.
In April, someone posted a video on Twitter showing Haglin and the teen together outside a Smokin’ Joe’s Tobacco and Liquor Outlet — a small chain of sin stores with 16 locations across Iowa.
Lots of students saw that video. Students in Haglin’s classes interrupted her while she was trying to teach to ask her about it, she said.
During her interview with Inside Edition, Haglin suggested that another student at Washington High was responsible for the social media video.
“I thought that it was something that could be kept secret and that nobody would ever know,” Haglin told the television show.
“I want to go back and smack myself and ask: ‘What were you thinking Mary Beth?'”
Back in July, when she was initially arrested, Haglin took aggressively to local news media to call out the local school district for keeping her on to teach classes after rumors of the affair spread. (RELATED: Twentysomething Teacher BLAMES SCHOOL After Traumatizing 17-Year-Old Male With Slew Of Sex)
“They didn’t ban me,” Haglin told The Gazette. “They never said they were banning me from working at any other school. They never said they were banning me from thus-and-so many feet of any school.”
Haglin also said she is finished having sex with the high schooler.
“I no longer have a desire or wish to contact or see this person ever again. And I don’t want him to contact me,” she said, according to Cedar Rapids ABC affiliate KCRG-TV.
School district superintendent Brad Buck said Haglin was asked to leave Washington High because of the rumors flying around.
“The sentiment of it was to allow her to leave with dignity given the current state of information and evidence that we had,” Buck told The Gazette.
Iowa’s age of sexual consent is 16. However, as in many states, there is an exception for situations when an adult is in a position of authority and has sex with a minor.
If convicted on the sexual exploitation charge, Haglin faces up to two years in prison and the prospect of a decade on Iowa’s sex offender registry, according to The Gazette.