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In the past, 30-year-old reading specialist April Novak has been called “helpful” by parents of her pupils, but Novak has the School District of Menomonee Falls scrambling for answers after being charged with 12 felony counts of sexual assault.

Novak, whose husband has filed for divorce, was charged Tuesday for having sex with a 16-year-old male student in her classroom 12 times from October to December.

After the allegations surfaced, Novak resigned. Improper behavior was first reported by a fellow teacher on Dec. 11 who saw Novak and the teen “embracing and possibly kissing.”

Instead of skirting around the allegations, Novak instead tried to justify her actions, according to authorities.

“[I]t was a mutual relationship and [she] indicated they have very strong feelings for each other,” WITI-TV reports Novak’s remarks to police.

WITI-TV also spoke with a mother of one of Novak’s students, Cassie Hintz, who described the former teacher as “helpful” and “on point.”

“She was on point. She made sure my daughter was cooperative, she made sure she was doing her work, and [she was] very helpful,” she said. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“I loved Ms. Novak, but after hearing what she did to one of my friends, I was actually quite shocked,” she added.

Each count of felony sexual assault carries a maximum of six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you do the math, that’s a maximum of 72 years and up to $120,000 in fines.

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