A 19-year-old Newtown teenager, who allegedly began dating 39-year-old Newtown High School custodian James Young nearly four years ago, said details of their relationship became public about a month ago after Young was accused of threatening and assaulting her in Southbury.
“I have no choice but to say something,” said the teenager, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the case.
The teenager said the charges and relationship between the two became public following a March 20 altercation in Southbury in which Young, of Middlebury, was charged with disorderly conduct, second-degree threatening, second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree assault.
Southbury police have not responded to requests for more information on that altercation.
In court files connected with that case, a Superior Court judge in Waterbury ordered that Young stay away from the teenager and refrain from making any contact with her.
The teenager said that through statements she made in connection with that March incident, authorities learned that the alleged dating relationship between the two began when she was only 15-years-old and attended Newtown High School where Young worked.
Under Connecticut law, it is illegal forand where the age difference is more than three years. It also is illegal for a Board of Education employee to have sex with a student enrolled in one of the schools in the district.
Young has not responded to requests for comment. A lawyer has not filed an appearance in Waterbury court on Young's behalf.
The teenager said she first got to know Young in the course of dating a fellow Newtown High School student who also worked for Young. Young operates a landscaping business outside of school.
The relationship with the fellow student did not last, although after that break-up, the teenager said she remained friends with Young particularly because they would see each other in school.
They would talk, and became more comfortable with each other, the teenager said, adding that eventually, they began making plans to see each other after school, meeting in places, such as Starbucks where they would continue their conversation.
The meet-ups then would include drives in his car and eventually he took her to his house, according to the teenager.
“It ended up being sexual and kind of an emotional relationship,” she said. “It was a mutual thing.”
The teenager said she felt uneasy about the relationship due to the age difference but believed that after graduation, she would see less of Young as she attended college and worked at the same time.
But the relationship continued, the teenager said, adding that eventually she decided she didn't want to be in the relationship any more. She said that several months ago, she repeatedly told Young that she wanted him to leave her alone.
The teenager said that it was a Sunday in March that she and a male friend were on their way home from house sitting for another friend in Waterbury when she allegedly spotted Young in his black car waiting for her. Through the window, Young allegedly began making threatening gestures at her, the teenager said.
A car chase ensued and through a cell phone call, Young allegedly told the teenager he was going to kill her and her friend, the teenager said. He also demanded she returned to him $260, which she assumed was to pay for tires he had bought for her on her birthday, the teenager said.
The teenager said she pulled off Interstate 84 into a parking lot in Southbury where she got out of the car. Young approached, allegedly threatened her and was pulling at her when a Southbury police officer, who had spotted the car chase, apprehended Young, the teenager said.
She said police told her that once he was in custody, Young denied allegations the relationship had become sexual, telling police that he had never invited the teenager to his bedroom.
The police asked her to verify her story by drawing a map of Young’s bedroom where much of the sexual intercourse occurred, the teenager said.
The teenager said she complied and offered details of Young’s bedroom, such as the Hawaiian girl lamp he displayed on his night stand as evidence she said that she had been there and was intimately familiar with the room.
“I’m not going to lie,” she said.
Young is to appear in Superior Court in Waterbury on Thursday to answer to the sexual assault and other charges.