SANDPOINT, Idaho - A North Idaho school administrator faces felony charges for allegedly having sex with a student.
At the time of the allegations, December 2015, Nichole Thiel was 46 years old and a culinary arts teacher at Lake Pend Oreille High School. The student was 16 years old.
The student first disclosed the relationship to a school counselor in 2016. Sandpoint Police were called in to investigate.
According to the student, it started when Thiel was upset and crying and the student consoled her and gave her a hug. Then, she kissed him on the cheek. Soon after, he helped her set up Facebook messenger on her phone and the two began communicating that way. Over Christmas break in 2015, he said she picked him up his father's home and took her to her condo in Sandpoint. The student says Thiel told him she hadn't had sex in six years. The student says she offered to give him a back rub, which led to the two having sexual relations.
The student says that was the only time the two had sex. He also said Thiel contacted him recently offering to write him a letter of recommendation for college. "Thiel allegedly advised him this would help him get into college because of her current position as an administrator."
Thiel is currently the vice principal and director of activities at Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy. According to the police report, she is currently on administrative leave from that job.
Thiel is charged with Sexual Battery and will be back in court March 1 for a preliminary hearing.