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The trial for Rene Carter, the Helena teacher accused of statutory rape, has been moved again.

The trial is scheduled for April 8, according to a new court filing, five months later than the previously set date.

In a complaint filed last January, Helena police detective Kent Anderson alleges that Carter had repeated sexual intercourse between February 2015 and June 2015 with a minor male who was legally incapable of giving consent. 

Authorities were first alerted to the situation by Capital High School Principal Brett Zanto, who told a school resource officer that Carter and the student were caught on video engaging in inappropriate physical contact in a stairwell on June 8, 2015. The offices of the city and county attorneys reviewed the information, but officials said the footage did not appear to show any sexual contact between the two. 

A Helena Police Department detective later spoke with the student, who at that time denied having any sexual contact with Carter. On June 12, 2015, the case was set to inactive pending new information. 

In 2016, a family member of the student told a HPD detective she had heard about an inappropriate relationship between the student and Carter. In February 2017, the same family member told authorities the student was discussing personal details about Carter that "he shouldn't have known about."

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A detective then interviewed Carter's husband, who described the student as "an unbelievable parasite" who demanded Carter's attention all the time and was physically abusive to her, pinching her on her arms and pulling her hair. He also told them that Carter has undergone "extensive counseling due to PTSD" from interactions with the student. 

Carter later talked to a detective by phone, saying she wanted to report abuse by the student but wasn't sure what to do and felt like she might need an attorney. 

The student described his relationship with Carter in an interview with his attorney and a detective on June 6, 2017. 

The student told authorities their sexual relationship started in 2015 when he was 17 years old. Montana law allows those 16 and older to consent to sexual activity, but the student was legally incapable of giving consent for other reasons, which the Independent Record has chosen to withhold to avoid identifying the alleged victim. 

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Reporter

Reporter at the Helena Independent Record.

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