WAUKESHA COUNTY - A former reading specialist at Menomonee Falls High School, charged with 12 counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff, was sentenced to two years behind bars and three years of extended supervision upon release.
April Novak was sentenced Thursday at the Waukesha County Courthouse. She pleaded with the judge for leniency, but the judge said the victim in this case is not only the 16-year-old student Novak had the relationship with, but also the school and the community, and that's why he sentenced her to time behind bars.
“I had a terrible lapse in judgment a year and a half ago," Novak said.
"It will never happen again," she continued.
That lapse in judgment landed her behind bars. Judge Ralph Ramirez suggesting her crime isn’t one that can be easily forgotten.
“This is a dark cloud on a lot of people," Ramirez said.
"It’s not just you Ms. Novak, it’s not just you and the student. it affects a lot of people and it affects a lot of people in a very negative matter," he continued.
Novak was charged with 12 counts of sexual assault for engaging in a sexual relationship with her former 16-year-old student, each sexual encounter happening in the classroom, something the judge said only makes what Novak did much worse.
“It aggravates what occurred here there’s no doubt about that," Judge Ramirez said.
Novak pleaded no contest to three counts of the sexual assault and admitted to having sex with the teenage student. However, the grandmother of the victim said this was a difficult process for her and her family to undergo and she doesn’t think the judge’s sentence was harsh enough.
"I think it’s somewhat appropriate, yes," she said.
"Three years would have been more appropriate, but I do think she did deserve to serve time," she continued.
Upon release Novak will have to register as a sex offender, she’s also prohibited from working or volunteering at any schools.