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Pontiac — A former special education teacher at Rochester High School was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months to 180 months in prison for having sex with students and providing drugs to a student.

Kathryn Houghtaling, 27, had pleaded no contest to six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with two boys, ages 16 and 17, in a car and at the home of one of the victims. She also was charged with providing a controlled substance, Xanax, to one of the boys. She was fired in January 2019 after being charged with the offenses.

She had worked at Rochester High since August 2018.

“I’ve learned to take full responsibility for my actions and seek help for those that I can’t control,” a tearful, sniffling Houghtaling told Judge Rae Lee Chabot before she was sentenced In Oakland County Circuit Court. “The concept of going to prison is a scary one …”

Houghtaling said she regretted her actions and how she had betrayed students and her responsibility as a teacher. She said her actions cost her her career and damaged her marriage.

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A no-contest plea is the same as being found guilty. While the offense potentially carries up to 15 years in prison, Houghtaling is not expected to serve more than 51 months.

In sentencing Houghtaling, Chabot said she couldn’t imagine hearing anything that would have convinced her to go below the sentencing guidelines.

“It’s difficult for me to judge someone else’s behavior in this way but the law is very clear — and it applies to men and women the same,” the judge said.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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