Elizabeth Giesler, former assistant principal at Ste. Genevieve Middle School, entered an Alford plea on February 11 to a misdemeanor charge of harassment in the second degree.
She had originally faced three felony counts of sexual contact with a student, three felony counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and two felony counts of second-degree statutory rape. Those charges had been filed in May of 2018, shortly after the incidents were alleged to have taken place, and Giesler was placed on leave at that time by the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District.
Two counts — one each of sexual contact with a student and statutory sodomy — were dismissed following a preliminary hearing in October of 2018 based on testimony about the three alleged incidents.
A jury trial had been scheduled to begin in late April on the remaining counts.
In the Alford plea, Giesler did not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for a conviction.
Under the plea agreement, Giesler will be on unsupervised probation for two years, cannot have contact with the victim or non-law enforcement witnesses, may travel out of state on specified dates and volunteer surrendered her teachers license.
Giesler had been hired by the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District in 2014, after she had previously worked as a teacher in Liberty, Missouri. She signed a separation agreement with the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District in November of 2018.
(Information from Missouri Courts website and Herald archives.)