Teacher held for sex abuse at Main Line school for behavior issues

A teacher at a Main Line school for students with emotional and behavioral problems told police that she wrote more than 30 letters to a 16-year-old former student.

The 28-year-old woman said she was buying a new headboard "for our bed." She called her 2-year-old daughter "our baby girl." She referred to the student as her girlfriend. She mentioned "rolling over in [her] bed and missing [the student] because she was not there," according to a criminal complaint.

Police said she frequently signed the letters "Pretty."

On Wednesday, Nina Scott of Downingtown, Chester County, was arrested and charged with 34 counts each of institutional sexual assault of a minor and corruption of minors, and two related charges.

Scott is accused of sexually assaulting the girl on school property, in her vehicle, and at her home from February to October of last year, while Scott was a teacher at theVillage, police said. TheVillage is a residential child-care facility in  Radnor Township where students are sent by court order. It was formerly Presbyterian Children's Village.

After the student left the school, she stayed at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Services facility in Luzerne County, where, during a routine inspection of the student's room, staff members found letters from Scott and a journal in which the girl made romantic references to Scott, police said.

In the journal, the student referred to her former teacher as her girlfriend and called Scott "future wife," "the love of my life," and "good in bed," according to the criminal complaint.

In October, after staff discovered the materials, Downingtown police received a report of the possible sexual relationship. Radnor Township later joined the investigation.

Scott's attorney, Evan J. Kelly, said, "These are just allegations.

"We're in the process of reviewing the evidence at this point in time," the West Chester lawyer said. "We're going to do whatever is in the best interest of Ms. Scott going forward."

During interviews with police, Scott and the student at first denied they were having a sexual relationship, saying instead Scott was a mentor to the girl, the criminal complaint said. They later acknowledged their relationship, police said.

According to the charging documents, the student said the relationship started when she gave Scott a note asking, "How would you feel if I kissed you?" and asking whether she would tell anyone. Scott returned the note saying she would not tell. The student said she kissed Scott inside her classroom.

Twice while the girl was home in Philadelphia for the weekend, she arranged for Scott to pick her up and the two had sex in a vehicle, she told police. The girl also said she left the school twice to go to Scott's home and the two had sex.

The two had sexual contact several times in a classroom at theVillage, the girl said, according to the criminal complaint.

The student is receiving counseling, police said. 

School officials said they first learned of the abuse allegations in October and immediately suspended Scott. They fired her in December, after they learned of pending criminal charges.

"We fully cooperated with outside law enforcement as they proceeded with this investigation," Jory Barrad, vice president of development and marketing at theVillage, said in a statement.

Scott was hired in October 2015 and had previously worked for a cyber school.

Radnor Police Superintendent William Colarulo described the allegations as "downright disgusting."

"As a parent and as a police officer for 36 years," he said, "it never ceases to amaze me when you put children in the care of a position such as a teacher and they violate that trust."