At least the students went to bat for her New Jersey high school teacher ‘propositioned’ students for sex: prosecutor BY Meg Wagner NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, July 9, 2015, 9:11 AM ROBERT SCIARRINO/NJ Advance Media /Landov New Jersey high school teacher Nicole McDonough 'propositioned' her students for sex, prosecutors said. A New Jersey teacher accused of maintaining inappropriate relationships with her students "propositioned" the high schoolers for sex, prosecutors said. A grand jury indicted Nicole McDonough, an English teacher at West Morris Mendham High School, earlier this year on three counts of official misconduct for her alleged "improper" relationships with three 18-year-old students. The 32-year-old had sex with one of three teens in 2014 and engaged in "improper fraternization" with the others in 2013 and 2014, prosecutors said. On Wednesday, prosecutors successfully argued to deny her pretrial intervention, a probation program in which charges can be dismissed without a guilty verdict, NJ.com reported. McDonough "was seeking out sex and propositioning high school students for sex," Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn said at the pre-trial hearing, calling the allegations against her "very troubling." A judge previously denied her the chance at pretrial intervention, but defense attorneys argued that the mandatory prison sentences she faces if found guilty is too harsh for her "victimless crime." The three students "have each said they have not felt victimized," her lawyer Timothy Smith said Wednesday. "If ever there was a victimless crime, this is it," he said. Smith also added that mandatory prison time for McDonough would hurt her family: Her father is battling cancer and needs help, he argued, and the single mom must care for her 6- and 3-year-old kids, whose father is a heroin addict and provides no support to the family. PATTI SAPONE/NJ Advance Media /Landov McDonough (l.) stands with her attorney Tim Smith. Still a Morristown judge upheld the decision to deny her pretrial intervention. If convicted at trial, McDonough faces a mandatory five years in prison. The English teacher was arrested in December. Because all of the students are legal adults, she was not charged for sex crimes. The seven-year teaching veteran gave her cellphone number to all three of the teen boys and texted them frequently, prosecutors said. However, the boys said the relationships didn't give them special treatment in the classroom. "There was no disparate treatment between them and the other students," McDonough's lawyer said. The student who had sex with McDonough called it a "loving relationship," her lawyer said. The honors English teacher has been suspended from her job since her December arrest.