ALFRED — A Massabesic High School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student made her first court appearance Thursday to face the charges against her.

Jessica Pomerleau, 36, of Limerick is charged with one count of gross sexual assault and one count of aggravated unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Pomerleau was not required to enter a plea during the brief proceeding in York County Superior Court because she has not been indicted on either felony charge. She will likely enter her pleas at her next court appearance, scheduled for March 16.

According to a police affidavit, Pomerleau had at least seven sexual encounters with the boy during the summer and gave him marijuana. The sex allegedly occurred in vehicles, primarily in Lyman but also in the parking lot of the Maine Mall in South Portland.

Pomerleau was a teacher in Massabesic High School’s Success Program, an alternative program in which about one-third of the participants are special-education students. The program’s special-education and regular teachers work with the entire group.

Pomerleau has been on leave since Sept. 29, when Regional School Unit 57 officials learned of the allegations. RSU 57 is the district for Alfred, Limerick, Lyman, Newfield, Shapleigh and Waterboro.

John Webb, Pomerleau’s lawyer, tried to use his body to shield his client from the view of news photographers in the courtroom Thursday. Pomerleau remains free on $10,000 bail, which was set after she turned herself in to the York County Sheriff’s Office and was arrested Oct. 11.

After the proceeding, Pomerleau left the courtroom quickly, surrounded by supporters, and did not respond to a reporter’s request to speak. Some people from her group stood in front of a door to prevent a couple of reporters from leaving as Pomerleau got into a red pickup truck outside the courthouse.

Webb said Pomerleau maintains her innocence. He said the details of the allegations do not provide a complete picture.

“The affidavit is not even close to the entire case. That’s the snapshot of the case the sheriff’s office decided to give the judge to get the arrest warrant,” Webb said after Pomerleau left the courthouse.

The affidavit of Deputy Jason Solomon, a resource officer at the high school, described the events that led to a search of Pomerleau’s home Oct. 7. MaineToday Media is not identifying the boy because he is a minor and the alleged victim of a sex crime.

The sheriff’s office began investigating after the mother of another student reported an inappropriate relationship between Pomerleau and a student. After speaking to the boy about the alleged encounters, authorities tracked down a cellphone that the boy allegedly had left in Pomerleau’s car.

The boy said Pomerleau told him that she would leave it in the toilet paper dispenser of a portable toilet, according to the document. The phone was not there when the boy went to retrieve it because it had been found by a driver for the toilet’s owner.

Authorities found a “Jess” in the cellphone directory and messages from “Jess.” Some messages referred to sexual activity between them in the past and to sex they would have later that day.

A message from “Jess” the next day spoke of staying home sick to spend the day together, a day when Pomerleau had called in sick.

The telephone number for “Jess” was the same as a number on a Verizon bill sent to Pomerleau’s husband, Scott, that Solomon found during the search of their home.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

[email protected]