FULTONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In late June, Kristin M. Bellinger, 39, turned herself in to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office investigators after a warrant was issued for her arrest. The warrant came after a lengthy investigation into a complaint that Bellinger had sex with a 13-year-old boy over a period of time in 2019.
At the time of the incident, it was alleged that Bellinger was providing private in-home tutoring to the boy, outside of her then-job as a special education teacher with the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES (HFM BOCES) District. Bellinger has been charged with second-degree rape for the alleged crime.
In a statement Tuesday, Dr. David Ziskin, District Superintendent at HFM BOCES, said the student first reported the allegations to school administrators, who immediately contacted police, the student’s family, and the New York State Education Department. Immediately after the student came forward, Bellinger was placed on leave and is no longer employed by HFM BOCES.
“After these disturbing allegations were brought to our attention, we took immediate steps to address them and cooperated fully with law enforcement,” Ziskin said. “We thank the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this matter. HFM BOCES will continue to aid law enforcement in every way we can.” The office in Johnstown tells NEWS10 that they were not made aware of the alleged tutoring arrangement and that it is not a typical practice.
Following her arrest, Bellinger was arraigned in Glen Town Court in front of the Honorable Justice James Law and later released on a $15,000 bond. Bellinger is scheduled to reappear at a later date.
Kristin Bellinger’s attorney sent this statement to News10:
My client is a distinguished educator who denies any inappropriate conduct with this student. Ms. Bellinger is innocent of the sole charge filed against her and has a loving family and husband who support her. These baseless allegations arose nearly a year ago, and are premised on a single accusation from years prior. My client has been fully cooperative with law enforcement since day one – which included her voluntarily surrendering to authorities yesterday. We both look forward to defending these baseless allegations in Court and her unblemished character being restored.
James Tyner/Law Office Of James E. Tyner, PLLC
Members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center and Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond. While there was probable cause for this arrest, Bellinger is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith told News10’s Anya Tucker that his investigators have found no indication that there are any other alleged victims. However, he encourages anyone with any information involving this case to give his office a call.