WEST CHESTER >> The former teacher’s aide at Unionville High School accused of having sex with two students is scheduled to go on trial today, one of the rare occasions when an adult in her position chooses to contest the charges against them.
Defendant Sheri Maufort is charged with two counts each of having intercourse or sexual contact with a student, a third-degree felony; corruption of minors, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, she is also charged with unlawful contact with a minor.
Maufort, 43, of West Chester has contended that the accounts given by the two male students of her behavior in September 2016, were fabricated, one out of spite at being fired from playing in a band at a party that Maufort had helped organize.
The students were 17 and 18 at the time. According to the criminal complaint filed by state Trooper Jason Pennington, Maufort allegedly kissed and performed oral sex on the 17-year-old in a parking lot outside a Birmingham restaurant after giving him alcohol. She allegedly also touched the second victim’s penis after she picked him up at party shortly following a high school football game.
Both incidents occurred the same night, Sept. 16, 2016, according to Assistant District Attorney Erin O’Brien, who will prosecute the case.
Defense attorney Lloyd Everett Long of Philadelphia, suggested that he would argue to the jury in the case that the 17-year-old was making up the details of what happened between them because he was upset about being fired from performing at a neighbor’s party with his band because he was under the influence of marijuana, and blamed Maufort — because she had hired him to work the “gig.”
According to the affidavit released by the district attorney’s office, she contacted the 17-year-old by text message, stating she wanted to hang out with him.
Maufort reportedly picked the victim up outside his home, gave him alcohol, and took him to the restaurant in Birmingham before venturing into the nearby field to perform the alleged sexual act, authorities said.
The affidavit states Maufort continued to perform oral sex until the first victim asked her to stop, worried that someone might see them. At this time, Maufort’s husband showed up at the restaurant.
She reportedly told the first victim not to tell anyone what had occurred and to get in touch when he turned 18. According to the prosecution, Maufort’s husband drove the first victim home after showing up to the restaurant.
The second victim, who was 18 at the time of the incident but still a student, ran into Maufort at a party. Maufort allegedly drove the male victim out of the neighborhood, parked the car, kissed him, and touched his penis before taking him back to the party, according to authorities.
The incidents were reported to the authorities on Nov. 11.
O’Brien, who is handling the case for the DA’s Child Abuse Unit, will be able to provide the jury with evidence that Maufort used marijuana with one of the students at a party she threw for her daughter at her family’s home outside West Chester.
O’Brien said in court that presenting a jury with the evidence would help establish that Maufort had been engaged in similar activity with both the youth and another of her alleged victims, with whom she was apparently videotaped drinking alcohol at the party in the spring of 2016. It would also show that Maufort had previous contact with the then-17-year-old Unionville student.
The trial, which will begin with jury selection today, will also include recordings made of a telephone conversation between one of the students and Maufort, in which she allegedly denies having any sexual contact.
To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.