An Idaho teacher was acquitted Thursday of having sex with a teenage boy, who her defense team claimed was lying to help his mother win a lawsuit against the school district.
A jury found Nichole Noel Thiel, 48, not guilty of sexual battery with a teen. Thiel faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors alleged that Thiel had sex with the boy in late 2015 and early 2016 at her condominium. At the time of the alleged encounters, Thiel was a 46-year-old culinary arts teacher at Lake Pend Orielle High School in Sandpoint, while the student was 16.
The defense noted that the teen had admitted when questioned by police that having sex with one of his teachers was an item on his “bucket list.” Attorney Michael Palmer also noted that the teen’s mother had recently filed a claim against the Lake Pend Orielle School District.
“[The student] has a massive incentive to get her convicted,” Palmer told the jury, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press.
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