Thirty-year-old English teacher Michelina Aichele has been banned from her position at Montgomery High School located in New Jersey after pleading guilty to endangering a minor on April 10, 2019. Aichele targeted a 16-year-old male junior at Montgomery High School, sending him sexually explicit messages and multiple nude photographs of herself over Snapchat and email between the months of February and April 2018.
The investigation into Aichele was launched after a classmate of her 16-year-old victim alerted Montogomery High School officials to a potentially inappropriate relationship between the student and Aichele. Montgomery High School officials then contacted the Township Police Department who launched an investigation into the potential scandal in 2018. Upon initial interviews, both Aichele and her victim denied allegations of inappropriate conduct. Nevertheless, according to the official criminal complaint the teenage student eventually revealed to the investigating police officers that he received four nude photographs of Aichele’s “exposed bare breasts and buttocks” over Snapchat between the months of February and April 2018. He also admitted to receiving sexually explicit text messages over Snapchat, one of which stated that “she thought about him while masturbating”. Confronted with the testimony of her teenage victim, Aichele tried to defend herself by claiming that the nude photographs of herself sent to the teenager were sent to him by students who had taken her phone and sent nude photographs she had taken of herself and then saved.
The Rice Purity Test
However, further investigation into the relationship between Aichele and the teenage student reveal this claim to be a far cry from the truth. In addition to the photographs and messages Aichele sent the student over Snapchat, police officers uncovered that Aichele had used her school email address to further pester the student with inappropriate messages. This included an email containing a request that the student takes an online test referred to as the “Rice Purity Test”. Initially created by Rice University in 1924 to test the maturity levels of its incoming female freshman, it was eventually made available to boys at Rice University and additionally used to foster healthy bonding between the school’s freshman and senior classes. However, while the test may hide behind the guise of assessing one’s maturity, it measures maturity based on the test taker’s knowledge of matters involving sex, drugs, alcohol and other illicit activities such as violence and law-breaking. Ricepuritytestscore.com warns users that the test contains a very adult and violent level of questions that could potentially negatively impact users’ mental health.
Aichele was charged in October of 2018 with endangering the welfare of a child and booked for holding at the Somerset County Jail in Somerville, New Jersey to be held up to five years if found guilty. Yet, after pleading guilty to the charge at the Superior Court of Somerset County on April 10, 2019, prosecutors were quick to recommend reducing her sentence to a maximum of one year. In addition, Aichele has been banned from teaching, required to register as a sex offender, and will face a lifetime of parole. Aichele will be held at Somerset County Jail until her official sentencing in July 2019.