East Penn Press

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Emmaus High School teacher charged

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

District Attorney Jim Martin announced Feb. 7 a teacher at Emmaus High School has been charged in relation to her inappropriate sexual contact with a student.

Heather Montero, 36, of 4298 South Dr., Allentown, has been charged with one count each of Unlawful Contact with Minors and Corruption of Minors, both felonies of the third degree.

The case was investigated by Trooper Steven Furlong of the Pennsylvania State Police and Lehigh County’s Eighth Investigating Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury heard testimony from witnesses presented by Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew S. Falk and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer H. Blackledge and reviewed exhibits before handing up its presentment. The presentment was approved by Judge Maria L. Dantos, supervising judge of the Grand Jury.

Montero voluntarily surrendered with her attorney Feb. 7. She will be arraigned at Central Booking. Judge Dantos set Montero’s bail at $20,000 unsecured. Judge Dantos also ordered that, due to the Grand Jury investigation, this case is permitted to bypass the preliminary hearing.

On Nov. 4, 2015, Trooper Furlong was contacted by Lehigh County Children and Youth regarding a Childline notification which indicated Montero was having a sexual relationship with a student. Trooper Furlong investigated Montero on social media to determine the student in question and was able to identify the student. (She is identified here as “Jane Doe,” with a 1997 date of birth and hereafter referred to as “Doe.”) On Nov. 5, 2015, he interviewed Doe at her residence with her parents present. He requested her cellular phone at that time but was not given it until Nov. 8, 2015.

Along with her cellular phone, Doe provided her Twitter username and password. Furlong gave that information as well as the cellular phone to the Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County, located at DeSales University, for analysis. The forensic examination of Doe’s Twitter account revealed a series of messages between Doe and Montero from June 3, 2015 to Oct. 6, 2015. The messages provided evidence of an intimate sexual relationship.

The investigation uncovered additional information from the victim’s cellular phone as well as from letters and notes sent between Montero and the victim, which allegedly were similar in tone and content to the Twitter messages.

Montero removed all reference to Doe from her social media accounts the day after Doe’s cellular phone was seized. Montero has been suspended with pay from East Penn School District. East Penn School District has cooperated fully with the Pennsylvania State Police and with the Office of the District Attorney in this investigation.

As in every criminal case, the fact an arrest has occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation; and the defendant, Heather Montero, is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.