Rene Carter, the ex-Capital High School teacher accused of having sexual intercourse with a minor student, was arraigned Wednesday morning.
Defended by Helena lawyer Palmer Hoovestal, Carter automatically entered a not-guilty plea to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent, which is standard during arraignment.
A trial date was set for June 4. Carter is out on her own recognizance, but is required to remain law-abiding and to not frequent places where there are children under the age of 16.
Carter is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a student between February and June of 2015. The student was incapable of giving consent, according to court documents.
Helena Public Schools Superintendent Jack Copps confirmed in January that the victim was a student and said Carter resigned on July 14, 2015.
Copps noted that he was not the superintendent at the time and is still getting up to speed on what happened. He said school district officials were aware of rumors that Carter was involved with a student "within the 2014-2015 school year."
"It would be wrong to say we weren't aware of it, because we were," Copps said when charges were filed.
The mandatory minimum sentence if convicted of sexual intercourse without consent is two years, with a maximum possible sentence of 100 years.
According to a Helena Independent Record story published in May 2015, Carter was nominated for Helena Educator of the Year that year.
Editor's Note: This story has been corrected. Although charging documents describe the victim as a “minor who was legally incapable of giving his consent,” they do not specifically say whether the victim could not consent because of his age or as a result of other factors.