High School librarian, 52, sentenced to two years in prison for having sex with student, 17, in her car and serially 'sexting' with two others
By: MIKE JACCARINO
An Oregon high school librarian has been sentenced to two years in prison for having sex with a 17-year-old student in her car and serially 'sexting' two others teens. Heidi Hyre, 52, and married with children, reportedly also pleaded guilty this week to buying Vicodin from one of the South Albany High School students embroiled in the affair. 'This was just a game for her,' said one mom who added her son began abusing alcohol after his illicit contact with Hyre. 'What happened is scarring for everyone involved. The word 'betrayal' comes to mind.'
At Hyre's sentencing in Linn County Circuit Court in Albany, prosecutor Heidi Sternhagen was quoted by The Corvallis Gazette-Times as saying the 'sexting' took place, 'All times of day, all times of night.' 'We’re shocked and appalled that a trusted adult would be...involved in this kind of behavior,' Greater Albany Public Schools Superintendent Maria Delapoer told The Albany Democrat-Herald. 'We want to make sure students are safe. They’re vulnerable.”
'(It) kind of gives you that sick-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach kind of feeling when things like this come out,' the school's principal Brent Belveal told KATU.com. 'We have worked pretty closely together with Heidi.' A contrite Hyre reportedly pleaded for mercy with Judge Thomas McHill, saying through tears, 'I’d like to say how remorseful I am to the people who I’ve hurt with my self-destructive behavior.' McHill was unmoved, reportedly levying a longer sentence that was expected because of Hyre's position at the school - and betrayal of the public trust.
Hyre had worked at South Albany High School for four years as an educational assistant in the library and computer lab. 'As soon as we started hearing rumors we began the investigation," Principal Brent Belveal reportedly said. 'We called the police in at that point and tried to be as diligent as we could be.' Once rumors began to circulate among students, Hyre reportedly went to school officials to deny them, Sternhagen told McHill at Friday's sentencing.
'There were some rumors this winter. They were investigated at that time by the school resource officer, and there wasn’t any evidence at that time they thought would lead to an arrest,' Superintendent Delapoer added.
But Delapoer told The Gazette-Times police broke the case once, 'there was some additional information provided by a former student that led to more explicit evidence – evidence of electronic communications that were inappropriate as well as some physical contact.' An 18-year-old South Albany student told The Democrat-Herald about the specifics of the investigation, saying he'd been suspended because of it.
The student, who spoke anonymously, told the paper he was called into the office at South Albany and told his name was on a list of six students' names Hyre had given investigators who allegedly sold prescription medication to the librarian. Delapoer told The Democrat-Herald she believed three students had been suspended because of distributing prescription medicine on school grounds.
In May, Hyre was charged with three counts each of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, three counts each of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree, and one count each of luring a minor, sex abuse in the third degree and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. She was reportedly booked into the Linn County Jail on $180,500 bail, and made news in Oregon with a tearful arraignment hearing.
'I don't feel comfortable here,' the terrified librarian told the judge through closed-circuit video. 'I'm scared to death, and I probably shouldn't be." Megan Sledge, a senior, said months ago she was shocked by the arrest even though she had heard the rumors.
'I kind of just didn't want to believe anything so I kept everything out of my mind and just didn't think about them,' she told KATU.com. Sledge said Hyre was popular with the students.
'She's so nice. She's such a fun person to be around, and she's always energetic – always has something fun to do,' she reportedly said. The lecherous librarian eventually pleaded guilty in November to just two charges, including delivery of Vicodin to a minor and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor.
All other charges against her were dismissed as part of the plea deal. Defense attorney Kent Hickam said no photographs ever were recovered during the investigation. After serving her sentence, Hyre will have to register as a sex offender when she gets out of prison. But it wasn't enough for one bereaved parent. After the hearing the father of a victim reportedly said he was disappointed with the sentence, since Hyre, he added, was unlikely to serve the full two years in prison.