FOND DU LAC - Shannon Cardinal appeared in Fond du Lac County court by video Friday morning. The Mayville High School teacher is facing 186 years in prison for an alleged sexual relationship with a former student.
"We're dealing with a situation that is known as consensual in fact, but not in law. And sometimes participants may not realize the significance of the conduct they are engaging in," said Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky.
>Link Info : General Issues - Sex Crime
Investigators and school officials say none of the alleged assaults took place at the school. According to the criminal complaint, the relationship began at the school in May of 2011. The student told police he would sometimes eat lunch in Cardinal's classroom. The student told investigators he started taking Spanish classes with Cardinal as his teacher in the fall of 2011. According to the complaint, lunchtime conversations turned into friendship and text messaging which led to the alleged sexual assaults. Most of the alleged sexual assaults took place at Cardinal's home and it was a family member of the victim who first called police.
"It was first brought to the attention to the attention of investigators in Iowa and then was brought to the attention of the Fond du Lac Sheriff's Department," said Kaminsky.
The student told investigators the first incident happened December 8, 2011. The complaint details at least six alleged sexual encounters. In court Friday, prosecutors also said Cardinal's two-year-old child was present at the home during one of the alleged incidents. One incident occurred when Cardinal allegedly traveled to Iowa to have sex with the student after he moved from the district.
Cardinal posted a $5,000 cash bond after court. She is due back in court again on June 1.