By MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
MONROE - The case of a Monroe High School teacher charged with indecent exposure after being accused of having sex with a male high school student in a parked vehicle has been set for trial on Feb. 19 in Monroe County District Court.
Judge Terrence Bronson yesterday scheduled the trial on the misdemeanor offense for Kelly Abdo, 27, who was fired from the district in July after she was accused of having sex with two male students.
The charge stems from an incident in mid-May outside a house party on Riverview Avenue. Two high school boys who attended the party told sheriff investigators they saw Ms. Abdo and an 18-year-old student having intercourse in the teenager's parked car on the public roadway.
According to police reports, the student subsequently admitted to having sex with the teacher in the car as well as other times, including at the teenager's home.
The 18-year-old told investigators Ms. Abdo later contacted him and asked him to destroy bedding in the home, reports said.
Authorities eventually obtained the teacher's DNA on bedding taken from the home, the reports said.
Ms. Abdo is not charged in connection with the relationship with the 18-year-old because Michigan law permits consensual relations between a student and a teacher if the student is 18 years or older.
The police reports said Ms. Abdo became the focus of a sheriff's office complaint in early March after a student told deputies the teacher was having a sexual relationship with another male student. The student, 17, denied the rela-tionship to investigators.
A teacher can be prosecuted for criminal sexual conduct if the student is 17 years old or younger.
Ms. Abdo, who is married, appeared with her Farmington Hills, Mich.-based attorney Mark Bilkovic for yesterday's pretrial hearing.
During a later interview, Mr. Bilkovic said that his client was innocent of the charge.
"She wants to have her day in court. I believe that she will ultimately be vindicated, and she absolutely denies the allegations that have been made against her," he said.
Authorities searched the Luna Pier home of Ms. Abdo in June, seized the former teacher's computer, and analyzed the hardware on the device.
According to police reports, the computer was used to search the Internet for information on "DNA evidence and how to remove it from crime scenes and clothing."
Searches also were conducted on the following topics: "sex laws between teachers and students under 18 in Michigan," "DNA forensic evidence," "registered sex offender," "sex offender laws," "subpoenaing text message records," and "how long text messages are stored."
Prosecutor William Nichols said the sheriff's investigation is still under review to determine if other charges could be filed.
"We are still reviewing the entire incident," he said.
Ms. Abdo, a mathematics teacher at the high school since 2004, was placed on paid administrative leave May 30. The board of education began termination proceedings July 8. She remains on paid administrative leave and is collecting her annual salary of $40,600.
Conviction on an indecent exposure charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
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