Cressman, Rochelle

Rochelle Cressman

A former Titusville Middle School gym teacher has pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault charges with a then-13-year-old boy who was one of her students.

Rochelle Cressman pleaded guilty Tuesday before Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Stevens to three counts of statutory sexual assault involving the boy and now faces sentencing in February.

In May 2019, Pennsylvania State Police arrested Cressman, now 33, charging her with a total of 66 counts for allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulting the teen during a seven-month period from Sept. 13, 2018, to April 18, 2019.

Cressman, who was a Titusville Middle School gym teacher at the time, initiated the sexual contact with the boy, according to state police. Cressman engaged in sexual activity at Cressman’s then-residence in Oil Creek Township and at a residence in Titusville, according to the arrest affidavit filed in the case.

In exchange for her guilty pleas, the other 63 counts won't be prosecuted by the Crawford County District Attorney's Office.

Each count of statutory sexual assault is a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Paula DiGiacomo, Crawford County first assistant district attorney, told the court that as part of the plea agreement, the commonwealth would recommend a sentence of a minimum of six years in jail and a maximum of no more than twice the minimum time given.

As part of the plea agreement, both sides agreed Cressman would serve 10 years probation following completion of her sentence, DiGiacomo said.

With Cressman's guilty plea, she also must register as a sexual offender for the rest of her life.

With the guilty plea, Cressman is classified as a Tier 3 sexual offender under Pennsylvania law, DiGiacomo said.

Those convicted as a Tier 3 sexual offender in Pennsylvania are required to register their address and other information quarterly for life.

Pick up a copy of Wednesday's print edition of The Meadville Tribune or check later with meadvilletribune.com for more details.

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