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Judge declares mistrial in sex abuse case against former Harwood Junior High counselor

·2 min read

A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday morning in the sexual abuse case against a former Harwood Junior High School counselor accused of having sex with a student several times during the 2016-17 school year.

Judge David Hagerman made the announcement when a Tarrant County jury of eight men and four women were deadlocked Tuesday after two days of deliberations.

Shannon Hathaway faced six counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student.

If she had been convicted, Hathaway, 37, of Keller, faced a maximum of 20 years on each charge and a $10,000 fine.

On the witness stand, Hathaway denied allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a former student during her testimony Friday.

A young Dallas County man who was a student at Harwood Junior High in Bedford testified Thursday that he had sexual intercourse with Hathaway when he was 17. The alleged incidents came up when the now 21-year-old man’s sister alerted two school officials in May 2018.

After Harwood Junior High administrators put Hathaway on administrative leave, she said she was advised by a United Educators Association attorney to resign rather than be fired, which she was told was the other outcome.

Hathaway was arrested and charged a few weeks later after an investigation. Since then, she said the last three years have been difficult for her and her family.

The former student said he first met Hathaway at Harwood Junior High in the winter of 2016 when she took him into her office and said he was at risk of failing the ninth grade, the Star-Telegram previously reported.

In his testimony, he said he first had sex with Hathaway at her Keller home in 2016 when he, his sister and a friend of his sister spent a night at Hathaway’s home. During Hathaway’s testimony, she said she had given birth to her first-born children, twins, by C-section in February 2016, breastfed them and would tuck them into bed at night.

The young man also testified they had sex at his Euless home and made out at her office and other rooms at Harwood Junior High, making sure they stayed away from school cameras and faculty members. He testified he decided to break off his relationship with Hathaway after his mom walked in on them naked in his bedroom.

Hathaway denied all claims of a sexual or flirtatious relationship with the former student Friday and said the man and his family members who testified were liars.

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