A former Toms River Regional district elementary school teacher, who engaged in kissing and inappropriate conduct and conversations with two sixth-grade boys in 2003 and 2004, was sentenced Friday to 364 days in the Ocean County Jail by Superior Court Judge Edward J. Turnbach.
As part of a plea bargain agreement, Robin Gialanella, 26, of Oak Glen Road pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment. She must register as a sex offender under Megan's Law, will be under lifetime supervision and must surrender her New Jersey teaching certificate. She must also continue psychotherapy during her incarceration.
Gialanella kissed the boys, who were 11 and 12 years of age and sixth-graders at the Silver Bay Elementary School, where Gialanella was a math teacher. She also allowed both boys to touch her buttocks.
The incidents took place between September 2003 and May 2004, both on and off campus.
Parents said the abuse went on for eight months. She also contacted the two boys after being ordered not to by the court.
Gialanella's attorney, Joseph G. Czarnecki, asked the court to consider a sentence of 30 days in jail and probation, saying the loss of her livelihood and limitation on where she can live as a sex offender was punishment enough. Gialanella made no statements to the court.
However, the mothers of the two boys abused by Gialanella each read statements into the court record, asking for the maximum penalties under terms of the plea bargain agreement.
"This was a parent's worst nightmare," Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Debra Hanlon-Schron said. "I thought the statements made by the two parents were heartfelt and something any parent could relate to."
"The public knows that sort of behavior is unacceptable. Ms. Gialanella needs to get the message. She showed no remorse," Hanlon-Schron said.
The two parents told the court the two boys were stripped of their adolescence, and ostracized and humiliated by their peers.
One of the mothers called Gialanella "smug and arrogant."
"I am sickened by her attitude," she said. "She presented herself as untouchable during the entire process."
The other parent told the court she found her son in Gialanella's classroom at 6 p.m. alone with the teacher.
"You are a sick, manipulative individual and no better than a man who molests a 12-year-old girl," she said. "She violated the role of a teacher and used her position of authority."
The Asbury Park Press does not identify victims of sexual abuse.
Before imposing the sentence, Turnbach noted Gialanella had betrayed trust that had been placed in her. He said Gialanella was also at risk of committing a similar crime.