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Defense Warns Against "Rush To Judgement" In Teacher Sexual Assault Hearing

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A former school guidance counselor was in court Friday.

She's charged with having sex with a student.

But today, her attorney offered his own allegations against the accuser and warned against a "rush to judgement."

Lianne Danko sat in the courtroom to hear accusations she was allegedly responsible for four counts of institutional sexual assault in the preliminary hearing.

Surrounded by friends and her defense attorney, Danko walked from her preliminary hearing knowing charges she had sex with a Ringgold High School senior will go to trial.

"We're denying all allegations," said defense attorney David Shrager.

Danko's 18-year-old accuser took the stand, testifying he and the 33-year-old mother of two had sex repeatedly in a Rostraver Park and Ride and kissed inside Danko's office inside Ringgold High School.

"We're going to be attacking the factual allegations and the constitutionality of the law," said Shrager. "More over, it's important to note there's some motivations for him to be less than truthful. It's my understanding that he may be getting shielding from prosecution, but I have to continue to investigate on some separate activities."

During the preliminary hearing, Shrager asked the victim if there were any pictures of underage girls on his cell phone in states of undress. The prosecution objected and the district justice upheld it. Shrager says all will be made clear during the trial.

"Whenever we hear accusations like this, people have to be mindful that people are innocent until proven guilty and we have to listen to all of the evidence," said Shrager.

Lianne Danko remains free on a $50,000 straight cash bond.

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