Rhonda Eisenberg, ex-teacher, allowed to write former student whose child she bore
In July, we told you about Greeley high school teacher Rhonda Eisenberg's arrest for sexual assault in a case involving what was at the time an underage student.
Eisenberg subsequently pleaded guilty in the matter, and she was sentenced yesterday. But the resolution of the case was complicated by two facts: The student fathered Eisenberg's child, and he's now legally an adult, who a judge will allow to exchange letters with the woman convicted of assaulting him. Photos, video, the original arrest affidavit and more below.
As we've reported, Eisenberg, 44, began teaching Spanish at Northridge High School in 2000 -- a gig she supplemented with instruction in the subject at the Engage Online Academy.
According to the aforementioned affidavit, the Greeley police received what is termed an "online information tip" last July 13 about Eisenberg. After stating that a student had been living with her in 2010 and 2011, it reads, "Several months before he graduated, she gave birth to a Hispanic baby without any other male in her life. Co-workers and family all suspect that she had a sexual relationship with him while he was a minor under her care....
"She continues to work with teenage boys," the note added.
A photo of Eisenberg from her now-deleted Facebook page.
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Acting on this information, a Greeley PD detective headed to Eisenberg's home and saw her "leaving the residence with a juvenile Hispanic child" -- an observation that prompted an interview the next day.
The affidavit maintains that Eisenberg knew the conversation was voluntary -- and during the course of the chat, she's said to have admitted that the student had been living with her; she'd been designated as guardian by his parents, who resided in Mexico. She added that the two of them engaged in sexual intercourse on approximately twenty occasions beginning before he was legally an adult.
She's also quoted as conceding that the student was the father of her child and was continuing to assist her in the baby's care. Nonetheless, she told the detective that "she knew having sex with [deleted] was wrong due to his young age."
Earlier this year, Eisenberg pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust -- and in court yesterday, she apologized for her actions.
And someone else spoke to the judge, too.
Eisenberg leaving the courtroom with her attorney and her father.
As expected, Eisenberg was given actual time behind bars -- ninety days' worth. She's also required to register as a sex offender and undergo four years of sex-offender intensive supervised probation -- and as reported by CBS4, she didn't gripe about the punishment when addressing the court.
"It was my responsibility to protect him," the station quotes her as saying. "I'm sorry for any of the negative effects this will have on him. I do regret what I've done.
"I want to apologize to my family, my former students and their parents," she added. "I often think about them and how disappointed they must be in me."
Turns out, though, that Eisenberg wasn't the only one with something to say. Also on hand was the former student, who's now twenty years old. He asked the judge if he and Eisenberg could write to each other -- the kind of request that would probably be rejected in the majority of other instances. But because Eisenberg and the student share a child, and due to the fact that he's now of age, the considerations are infinitely more complex. Hence, the judge has given them the okay for old-fashioned correspondence.
What that means for the future is unclear. But for now, Eisenberg is in custody to begin serving her sentence.
Look below to see the CBS4 report, Eisenberg's booking photo and the arrest affidavit.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Courtney Bowles: Fort Collins teacher busted naked with student getting national exposure."