Lonely woman illegally enrolled at New Jersey school to relive better days
🔴 Hyejeong Shin, 29, attended classes at New Brunswick High School for 4 days
🔴 She was found out when she provided a fake document to verify her age
🔴 Her lawyer said she did not pose a threat and missed the safety of high school
NEW BRUNSWICK — The 29-year-old woman who enrolled in high school for nearly a week was lonely and looking to relive happier days in high school, according to her lawyer.
Hyejeong Shin, 29, a citizen of South Korea, attended classes for four days at New Brunswick High School in January interacting with other students and attending classes. When Shin could not provide proper documentation, she was charged with one count of third-degree providing a false government document.
During a court hearing on Monday, her lawyer Darren Gelber said Shin had a rough time in recent months following a divorce and was seeking the safety and good times she had had while attending a boarding school in Massachusetts, according to New York Times coverage of the hearing.
Gelber said that there was no danger to any of the students at the school.
"This case was more about my client's desire to return to a place of safety and welcoming and an environment she looks back on with fondness and nothing more," Gelber told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Her legal team is hoping she will be entered into a pre-trial intervention program and serve no jail time. Shin's eventual plan is to return to South Korea.
New Brunswick schools had to enroll her
Shin was in the U.S. to attend Rutgers University, majoring in political science and Chinese. She was a member of the Institute for Research on Women during the 2017-18 academic year.
Deputy Police Director J.T. Miller in February said that nothing in their investigation showed that Shin intended to bring harm or violence to students.
After she was found out by New Brusnwick school officials, she was arrested.
Miller said that schools are required to immediately enroll unaccompanied children even if normally required records are not provided. Proof of guardianship is not necessary to immediately enroll an unaccompanied child or youth.