Ex-teacher had sex with her student on his 8th-grade graduation, California prosecutors say

A former Northern California teacher pleaded no contest Monday to having sex with an eighth-grade student on his graduation day in a classroom, prosecutors said.

Michelle Christine Solis, 46, pleaded no contest to having unlawful sex with the 14-year-old, according to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation began after parents learned their children had inappropriate pictures of Solis, a former employee of the Gridley Unified School District.

Solis, who had taught for more than 20 years, was teaching the 14-year-old boy in June 2021 when she “friended” him on Instagram, prosecutors said. They began talking online in the weeks leading up to his Sycamore Middle School graduation.

Prosecutors said investigators found evidence that Solis sent four explicit pictures of herself and then had sex with him inside a locked classroom on the day of the student’s eighth-grade graduation.

Gridley police began examining Solis’ conduct after rumors of their relationship began spreading two years after the illegal contact, prosecutors said.

Investigators reached out to the boy and found Solis’ explicit pictures and their communications on his phone. She was arrested in November and entered her plea Monday in Butte Superior Court during a preliminary hearing. A charge of distributing harmful material to the 14-year-old boy was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Solis must register as a sex offender as part of her sentence, prosecutors said. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 6; she faces four years in prison.

Gridley is a city of 7,200 residents in Butte County between Chico and Yuba City.