KSU student remains on house arrest for sex offense

A former Southeast High School student teacher and Kent State student who had sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student will remain on house arrest at her Cuyahoga County residence after a judge ruled against her request to be released from electronic monitoring for probation purposes. ?

Judge Laurie Pittman on Monday told Melanie K. Yusko, 23, of Highland Heights, that she was denying her request for release from house arrest at this time, but may consider another request in the future. ?“You have been given every consideration by this court,” Pittman told her. “Based on the charges, you need to be punished … It would be unfair to release you at this time.” ?

Yusko was convicted in October of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony and sentenced in December to 300 days in the Portage County jail and five years probation for the April 2010 offense, which occurred while she was a Kent State student teacher assigned to Southeast High School. ?

Yusko served less than two weeks of her jail sentence before being released on Jan. 15 to serve the remainder of her 300-day jail term on electronically monitored house arrest. ?

Yusko’s attorney, Kenneth Bossin, filed a motion in February to end the house arrest. Yusko sent her own letter to Pittman, dated March 16, asking for the change.

Bossin argued Monday that Yusko “has done absolutely everything that she has been asked to do” by the court. ?

The Portage County Prosecutor’s Office objected to Yusko’s request, noting that she served no prison time and already received an early release from her court-ordered jail term. ?

“A lot of people in the same situation go to prison,” Assistant Prosecutor Eric Finnegan told Pittman. “We think enough is enough.” ?

In her letter, Yusko said being on house arrest has taken a financial toll on her, as it costs her $8 for every day she is monitored. Also, changing her work schedule — she told Pittman she currently works at a restaurant — is made more difficult by the requirements of her reporting. ?

“I really love my job, and I would like to be able to perform it to its fullest extent,” she wrote. “I am not requesting to be taken off house arrest to go out and party and cause trouble. I just want to be able to go to work and not have to get permission to stay later or take on another shift.” ?

Yusko declined to address the court further at her hearing.?

“I said everything I wanted to say in the letter I wrote to you,” she told Pittman. ?

As a Tier II sex offender, Yusko is required to register her address with her local sheriff’s office every 90 days for the next 25 years. She also is forbidden from contacting the victim or his family or working as a teacher, according to Pittman’s sentencing order.