• Counselor accused of having sex with student appears in court; Student testifies

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    PITTSBURGH - All charges were held for court Friday in the case against a former Pittsburgh-area guidance counselor accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.

    The student, an 18-year-old football player for Ringgold High School, testified that the relationship started inside the high school when he went to his guidance counselor for advice. The student testified that he and Lianne Danko ended up kissing in her office.


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    “She said I was handsome,” the student said. “We kissed a couple of times in the guidance office. We both wanted to hang out, so she picked a place and we met there.”

    Police said the two had sex on several occasions at a park-and-ride in Belle Vernon.

    When prosecutors asked what they did, the student said they “talked, kissed and touched.”

    “We had sex,” he said. “She told me that she trusted me and that she had to get home to her kids.”

    Danko’s defense attorney, David Shrager, said the student is the case is about to turn 19, and he plans to fight the law that says that no matter the age of consent, a teacher cannot have sex with a student.

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    “We are going to be attacking factual allegations and constitutionality of the law,” Shrager said.

    Danko is free on bond.

    “This is obviously devastating,” Shrager said. “She’s accused of a pretty embarrassing and negative thing. She took pleasure in being a member of the school community, and that’s over for her.”

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