Former Fresno Unified teacher testifies, admits to sexual relationship with 13-year-old

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Pregnant and on trial, former Tenaya Middle school teacher Justine Nelson arrived at court on Thursday for her second day on the stand.

She admitted to having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student but seemed to believe there was nothing wrong about it.

MORE: Ex-Fresno Unified teacher performed sex acts with 14-year-old boy: Prosecutors

Nelson admitted she did not have appropriate boundaries. But she denied having romantic feelings for the boy, despite the sexual contact she openly confessed to.

Nelson walked into court with her attorney Roger Nuttall by her side. Cameras aren't allowed inside the trial.

On the stand, Nelson answered direct questions. Deputy District attorney Liz Owen asked, "Did you enjoy this relationship with an eighth-grader?"

"I did," Nelson replied.

"Did you like the attention?"

"I did."

"Did it flatter you?"

"It did."

Jurors watched as Nelson described their on-again-off-again relationship.

In one message, she asked him how his first day of high school went. And his response was, "It was cool, but you still didn't send me any nudes."

The teacher admitted on several occasions to sending pictures of her without clothes on.

In between the second and third period, she said the eighth-grader came into her classroom, pushed her on her desk and forced himself on her.

She testified, "He kissed me."

The prosecutor asked, "Did you kiss him back?"

She replied, "I'm not sure. I'm sure I did; it's a natural instinct to kiss someone back."

Then the prosecutor went on: "It's a natural instinct to kiss a child back who's just pushed you onto a desk?"

"Yes," she said.

Nelson is in the process of a divorce. She is no longer a teacher. Despite her situation, she didn't appear nervous and at times smiled at jurors and the audience.

The middle school teacher admitted her behavior was inappropriate because she was married and she was a teacher.

The prosecutor asked, "Did it occur that it was inappropriate because he was 13?"

"No, because he was a student," Nelson replied.

Nelson also testified she felt bad for the student when he asked her to buy him basketball shoes and a phone.

But she said she couldn't because she shared the same bank account with her husband.

The alleged victim, who is now 16, took the stand last week.
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