By Shereen Siewert

A judge on Tuesday found probable cause to move forward with the case against a 50-year-old Mosinee Middle School art teacher accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old student in the classroom.

Christy Mathis, who remains employed by the Mosinee School District as of Tuesday afternoon, appeared in Marathon County Circuit Court for a probable cause hearing. Judge Mike Moran heard the case.

Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Hannah Beck told Judge Moran the alleged contact happened on March 25, when Mathis allegedly put her hand on the girl’s back, then cupped the girl’s buttocks with her hand. Beck said the touching was witnessed by students in the classroom and was reported to administrators the same day.

Jessa Nicholson Goetz, a defense attorney representing Mathis, said her client denies the allegations. Mathis was placed on leave shortly after the allegations surfaced, according to a statement by Mosinee School Superintendent David Munoz.

Judge Moran set a $10,000 bond for Mathis with the first $5,000 to be paid in cash. Police are continuing their investigation, but Beck said prosecutors expect to file a charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Mathis, who has no prior criminal history, is due in court on April 23 for an initial appearance in the case.