Former Teacher Sentenced For Inappropriate Relationships With Students

STROUDSBURG — A former art teacher in Monroe County found out her sentence for having inappropriate relationships with two of her students.

Cynthia Hartopp, 29, was an art teacher at East Stroudsburg High School North when she was accused of having sexual relationships with the students.

She pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and one other charge.  She will now spend 15 to 48 months behind bars.

Last year, the former teacher pleaded guilty to charges related to sexual relationships with two of her students.

Hartopp was an art teacher at the school near Bushkill.

In April of 2013 an investigation began into Hartopp having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old male student. She was charged in June.

Then in August more charges were filed as Hartopp was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student.

At her sentencing with her family by her side, her father held back tears as he addressed the judge.

“As a parent, I have experienced humiliation and unending questions of ‘why?’  I am not here to condone Cynthia’s conduct and no way suggesting it’s morally justified.  I know my daughter is remorseful.”

Then Hartopp tearfully made a statement to the judge.

“I violated their trust in me.  They probably won’t have trust in a teacher again.  Now the school district has been left marked because of my act.”

“It was genuine emotion,” said defense attorney Steven Jones.  “She is very remorseful for her behavior and she wants to move forward and hopefully she can rebuild her life and the victims can do that as well.”
“Sometimes it’s also difficult, whether or not the emotion is real, that you are faced with the reality that you may go to jail now for what you’ve done,” said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski.

Hartopp was sentenced up to four years in state prison.

The East Stroudsburg Area School District suspended her soon after the first accusation and then she was fired.

When she gets out of prison, she will not be able to get another teaching job.

19 comments

  • Thomas Ross

    People say she was punished to hard. Well I was I’m this situation, and people don’t realize the abuse I went through. I could not go anywhere with the stares and the comments. I was kicked out of high school. I was declined jobs because I was “that boy who got a teacher fired.” The teacher that had sexual relationships with me was abused in people’s eyes. I went through so much bullshit for two years because of this. Still today the sschool accuses me of lying. My teacher is not a registered sex offender, she does her time and that’s it. She will not teach again in PA. I do not wish this upon anyone. So I do believe this teacher above was sentenced accordingly and i have sympathy for the two students. If those students want to contact me leave a comment and I can try and help with what your going through.

    • A

      I’m sorry that happened because it should not have ever occurred. Teachers are by law and contract prohibited to have inappropriate relations with students. It is never the students fault. This is not only in high school but college and grad school as well. Teachers are supposed to be adults that make students feel safe not victimized or uncomfortable. I agree with the sentence of Hartropp.
      As for what happened to you, sadly most people I’ve met in NEPA are illogical backwards people who actually condone this. I know an 8 year old who was sexually assaulted by her 18 year old cousin and the community turned their backs on her family rather than on the cousin.

    • HDA

      Everyone has a story. The key is that everyones’ circumstances are not the same. I’m relatively certain these young MEN, not children, are not suffering from the abuse. Sexual abuse/ rape was not a charge. That being the case 15-48 months in a state penitentiary is tantamount to ridiculous.

    • kevin

      don’t for one minute think the boys are the victims! the one boy was 17 and has a two year old kid! did you know that ? so who is the real victim here. these boys are not as innocent as you all want to believe!

      • Stacie

        Kevin,

        Tell me who is the “real” victim here? I agree that at the age of 17 and 18 they are basically men. And maybe one of these “men” have a two year old child. That is not relevant to this situation. Here is the deal, the teacher is an adult. She should know better. Boys/Men at 17 and 18 are horny and sleeping with a teacher may be considered “cool.” SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER! Period.

        Do I think the sentence is a fair one, you bet I do. Did she rape those boys? Doubtful. But she should be punished for her actions.

        Do I think that it is fair that a junkie sells drugs and gets less time. No. I think the law sucks. I think the punishments are too easy and that is why we have so many repeated offenders. It is time to have more serious punishments. I think it is disgusting that so many get away with murder. I mean that literally.

        However, the woman deserves what she got. How would you feel if it was your son? I think your attitude would change a bit.

  • Scott Williams

    These days every school talks with their teachers before the semester begins, and they are very distinct about this sort of thing. She is an educated person who is well aware of the law. She made her decision when she became involved with the students inappropriately. There was no gray area of uncertainty. She knew and she proceeded and continued regardless of her better judgment. She and only she put herself into this position.
    Remember the saying,
    “Don’t do the crime unless you are willing to do the time.”
    Let that ring true for all adults who become involved with children of any age.

  • ME

    Exactly what constitutes sexual assault? Is it only her position and ages of the teens? Most teens have had sex before anyway. Heck, people used to get married at 14. I’m not saying it was the ideal situation, but how does sex ruin you life at 17, but not 18?

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