Erica Ann Ginnetti, 33, an advanced math teacher at Lower Moreland High School, is charged with 13 counts including Institutional Sexual Assault, Corruption of Minors, and Disseminating Obscene Materials to a Minor.
Students say the rumors have been circulating for a while that Ginnetti, a married mother, had an intimate relationship with a 17-year-old male student.
"The fact that she had kids and she was a teacher and he was student, that's what's shocking," said Patrick Giordano, student.
Police began their investigation ten days ago, after receiving a tip about other students seeing incriminating evidence on the victim's cell phone.
Police say the evidence, including photos, video and text messages, led them to Ginnetti, who admitted to having a relationship with the student starting last Spring.
Investigators say Ginnetti first approached the male student at the school's senior prom last May, asking him if he would come work out at her gym. They say the student responded with a text message a few days later and the two began communicating on a daily basis.
Prosecutors say over the next several months, Ginnetti sent the student sexual text messages and sexually explicit photos and videos of herself, and on one occasion had sex with him.
Investigators said in July 2013 the pair met at coffee shop in Northeast Philadelphia, Ginnetti drove the student to an industrial park near the Lower Moreland-Philadelphia border, had sex with him, then drove him back to the coffee shop and asked him not to tell anyone.
Ginnetti's students say the charges just don't match up with their assessment of the popular teacher.
"She was a very good teacher, in terms of the content of the course. She helped me to be the math student I am now,"said Brandon Whitehill, student.
Ginnetti was formally charged and arraigned this morning in Willow Grove. Bail was set at $50,000, which she posted. She is now scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on February 14, 2014.
Lower Moreland School District Superintendent Dr. Marykay Feeley released the following statement Friday morning:
The Lower Moreland School District has been made aware of an allegation that a High School teacher had an inappropriate relationship with a student. As soon as the District became aware of the allegation, the teacher was placed on administrative leave. We are now moving swiftly to terminate her employment and will take all steps necessary to ensure the teacher does not teach again.
The matter is now being handled by the proper authorities, and we are cooperating fully and collaboratively with the Lower Moreland Township Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. Since this is an ongoing legal investigation, please understand that the District has not been at liberty to disclose information. We will only be able to share limited information in the future as this is also a personnel matter.
The safety and well-being of our students remains our top concern at all times.