Allison Robinson, 35, the assistant director of the Friendship School, has been arrested for having consensual sexual relations with a minor when she was 23, according to multiple sources close to the investigation.
Robinson was put on unpaid administrative leave Wednesday and then turned herself in to state police Friday. She was arrested for second-degree sexual assault, commonly referred to as statutory rape.
The assault was revealed when the minor, now an adult, was recently arrested on another charge, sources say. The minor’s name and what he was arrested for remain unknown.
Second-degree sexual assault is a class C felony. Anyone convicted of second-degree sexual assault must face at least nine months in prison, and up to 10 years, according to a 2002 state report by Connecticut Chief Attorney George Coppolo.
The alleged incident happened at a party, sources said. Second-degree sexual assault can be sex with somebody under 16, or if a school employee has sex with a student enrolled in his or her school or a school under his or her school board's jurisdiction, according to the state statute.
Robinson, a New London resident, posted a $50,000 bond. She is due in court today.
Several parents were furious at the Friendship School over the incident, although not for the arrest. Instead, they were angry they found out through the news, rather than the school sending a letter home.
“I have a granddaughter who goes to the school, and her parents didn’t know about it until they saw it on the news,” Waterford resident Linda Geer said. “The way it was handled, it could have been better.”
Damay Bullock, who is thinking about enrolling her 3-year-old child at the school next year, agreed.
"If (my daughter) was going there, I'd fully expect to find out from the school. Not find out second-hand from some other source," Bullock said. "It leads to rumors and speculation when the school does not address it."
That said, the arrest itself will have “no effect” on if she puts her child in the school, Bullock said.
"It was 12 years ago; it will not have an effect on my decision,” she said. "Had it been more current, it probably would have. But 23 compared to 35, you are a completely different person."
Virginia Seccombe, the executive director of LEARN, did not elaborate on why the school did not inform the parents when Robinson was put on unpaid leave. The information was leaked out by a New London board of education member, not from LEARN, she said.
“We were being advised by our attorneys,” she said. “We were not able to release anything.”
The arrest will not change LEARN’s vetting process, as “its pretty thorough,” Seccombe said. All LEARN employees are fingerprinted, given a background check and given an extensive background check, she said.
The school has not yet decided whether to fire or keep Robinson, as the decision will hinge on the length of the case and the verdict, Seccombe said.
The Friendship School is a magnet school run by LEARN, a Regional Education Service Center. It serves 520 New London and Waterford 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds.