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Jul 7, 2010 11:41 PM by Jim Hummel

AES Sex Scandal; Counselor in Court

A former Ascension Episcopal School counselor, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14 year old student was in Federal Court Wednesday. The hearing was set to determine whether Dr. Allison Hargrave should be released from jail until her trial in August. Judge Michael Hill has taken the matter into consideration, but no decision has been made.

Hargrave is accused of sending explicit e-mails to a 14-year-old girl who was under her care at AES. During Wednesday's hearing, those e-mails were entered as evidence and two very different pictures were painted to explain the nature of those e-mails.

The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case alleged Hargrave was an aggressive sexual predator, who used her position to groom an insecure child into a sexual relationship.

A psychiatrist who interviewed Hargrave before the hearing testified that she was having sex with two other employees at AES, and that she made her alleged victim aware of those relationships, all in an effort to establish power.

Hargrave's defense on the other hand claims she suffered from a random lapse of mental illness and was not a sexual predator. The FBI agent handling the case against Hargrave testified that in the course of their investigation, no other students have come forward alleging abuse.

Prosecutors argued against the defendant's release on the grounds that she might be a flight risk. It was revealed in court that Hargrave has a boyfriend in Canada, a man she met while seeking treatment at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The prosecution also argued that if released, Hargrave could also try to contact her alleged victim.

Hargrave's defense refuted that claim, saying she has not had any contact with her alleged victim since February.

Jim Hummel

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