Elizabeth Miklosovic, 36, a teacher at South Haven’s Baseline Middle School, was arraigned Thursday in South Haven District Court on a Van Buren County charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
If convicted, Miklosovic faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. She was ordered held on $100,000 bond and remained in the county jail Friday.
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Also Thursday, the Kent County prosecutor’s office issued arrest warrants for Miklosovic on charges of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct that accuse her of performing illegal sex acts with the female student at the teacher’s Grand Rapids home.
Miklosovic lives with another woman and their adopted son, authorities said.
The student told a classmate about the relationship and the classmate told school officials, who placed the seventh-grade language arts teacher on leave from her job. Miklosovic has worked for South Haven Public Schools for three years.
The student told Michigan State Police that she and Miklosovic had about five sexual encounters from June to October in the teacher’s home, a park in Van Buren County and a state park in Manistee County.
Although the girl was in Miklosovic’s class in the past, the sexual contact did not occur until this year, authorities said.
Miklosovic has no previous criminal record in Michigan, state police records showed.
Her next scheduled appearance in the South Haven court will be a preliminary examination conference on Dec. 13.
She declined to answer reporters’ questions after the hearing. A telephone message seeking comment was left Friday at the Paw Paw office of her court-appointed attorney, James Becker.
The girl’s family said Miklosovic brainwashed the girl into thinking the two did nothing wrong. A relative told The Grand Rapids Press that the family initially believed Miklosovic’s interest in the girl — who was described as vulnerable and as having emotional problems — was to help her.
Detective Sgt. Diane Oppenheim of the state police post in South Haven said the student came to trust the teacher so much, she agreed to “marry” the woman in a pagan ritual.
“They also participated in witchcraft together,” Oppenheim said.