Former TASD dance teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse of student

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A former Texarkana, Ark., School District teacher and dance instructor received a six-year felony probation Tuesday as part of a plea bargain for sexual assault of a 16-year-old student.

Julie Gross Aultman, 43, entered a plea Tuesday to first-degree sexual assault at a hearing before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones at the Miller County Correctional Facility courtroom. She was represented by Texarkana attorney Jason Horton.

As part of her plea bargain, special prosecutor Jack McQuary requested that a pending charge of second-degree sexual assault be dismissed. Court records filed Tuesday state that Aultman abused her position of trust and authority over the boy when she engaged in sexual activity with him on or about March 1, 2016. The second-degree charge that was dismissed involved inappropriate sexual contact alleged to have occurred between Jan. 1, 2016 and Feb. 29, 2016, the sentencing records show.

Aultman must now register as a sex offender and will no longer be able to work with juveniles. As a condition of her probation, Aultman must pay a $2,500 fine and court costs and is prohibited from any contact with the victim or his family.

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Aultman was arrested in April of last year by the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department but has been free on bond. Aultman resigned her position with TASD in March 2016. She began working for TASD in 2006 and resigned March 15. During her time with the school district Aultman worked in various positions at College Hill Middle School, North Heights Junior High School and Arkansas High School.

The case is being handled by a special prosecutor because Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black is a childhood friend of Aultman’s. Black filed a motion in April asking for appointment of a special prosecutor to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

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