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Ex-Pittsburgh teacher pleads no contest to trying to run away with 11-year-old girl

| Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, 4:18 p.m.
Former Beechwood elementary school teacher Geraldine Alcorn, 29, of Lawrenceville leaves the courtroom after appearing before a judge on charges including corrupting a minor and luring a child into a vehicle at City Court, downtown, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Former Beechwood elementary school teacher Geraldine Alcorn, 29, of Lawrenceville leaves the courtroom after appearing before a judge on charges including corrupting a minor and luring a child into a vehicle at City Court, downtown, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

A former Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher pleaded no contest Wednesday to trying to “adopt” and run away with an 11-year-old girl from her school this year.

Geraldine Alcorn, 29, of Lawrence­ville, entered her plea to a misdemeanor charge of corruption of minors and was sentenced to five years of probation. Her attorney declined to comment.

Prosecutors had withdrawn misdemeanor charges of child luring and corruption of minors, leaving a felony charge of attempted interference with the custody of a minor that was later reduced to corruption of minors.

Alcorn and one of her students at Beechwood Elementary exchanged more than 2,400 text messages over a two-week span in late January and early February, discussing how the two could go on the run together and Alcorn could adopt the girl as her own, according to the criminal complaint.

Alcorn was suspended in February when school officials learned of her interactions with the student. She resigned March 2, but went back to the school March 13 under the pretense of gathering her belongings; the girl later found a letter and gifts from Alcorn in her locker and desk, including the former teacher's phone number encrypted in a math worksheet.

State records still list Alcorn's teaching license as valid, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Professional Standards and Practices Commission has not listed any disciplinary action against her, but department spokeswoman Jessica Hickernell said the commission does not post actions until investigations are complete.

Court records show Alcorn's sentence included that she have no contact with the girl or go within 1,000 yards of her residence, and must undergo a mental health evaluation and follow its recommendations.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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