The case against a teacher charged with having sex with two Rochester High School students has advanced to Oakland County Circuit Court — with a drug charge added and an increase in bond.
Kathryn Houghtaling, charged with six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two teenage male students, now faces an additional charge of providing Xanax to one of the boys she allegedly had sex with in December.
Prosecutors say one of Houghtaling’s alleged victims, age 17, said the she gave him Xanax on Dec. 14 at Rochester High, which later landed him in an emergency room because of a bad reaction. Medical records support the claim, according to the prosecution.
Judge Lisa Asadoorian of Rochester Hills’ 52-3 District Court arraigned Houghteling on the seventh charge Wednesday, and then bound her over to the higher court on all counts after Houghteling waived her right to a preliminary exam.
Due to the new charge, Asadoorian raised Houghtaling’s bond to $250,000 — a $50,000 increase. Houghtaling posted it Wednesday.
Prior to the bond hike being announced, defense attorney Zachary Glaza argued against an increase, saying that it was already high and that Houghtaling had so far complied with all bond conditions. “I don’t think it will make the community any safer by asking (Houghtaling) to present more money in this case,” he said.
Glaza also said Houghtaling “denies delivering the drug” to the student as stated in the complaint. “He could have taken it on his own,” Glaza said.
Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is used to treat anxiety and nausea but is also commonly misused as a recreational drug.
Houghtaling, 26 of Sterling Heights, was a first-year special education teacher at Rochester High who lost her job earlier this month after allegations were made about her engaging in sexual contact with students last November and December, outside of school property. According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, a parent found a video of a group of students partying with a teacher, and a student involved later shared information about the teacher with school administrators.
Criminal sexual conduct, third-degree, is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The drug charge, delivery of a Schedule IV controlled substance to a minor, carries a penalty of up to eight years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
Asadoorian said the allegations against Houghteling have been “very troubling” from the start, and even more so now with the seventh charge, as well as the preliminary exam being waived — which indicates probable cause has been established.
Houghtaling is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 12 before Judge Rae Lee Chabot of Oakland County Circuit Court.