The former Connecticut substitute teacher who was accused of exposing middle-school students to internet pornography on a classroom PC will avoid a new trial after pleading guilty on Friday to disorderly conduct.

Julie Amero, 41, also agreed to give up her teaching license, prosecutors said. She will pay a $100 fine and avoid jail time.

So ends the judicial saga for Amero, who had been convicted in January 2007 of four felony counts of risk of injury to a minor. Five months later, a state judge ordered a new trial after determining the computer in question was not properly analyzed following the incident and thus the jury may have been acting on "flawed" evidence and testimony.

Prior to that ruling, a group of information security experts publicly had rallied around Amero to argue that the Windham, Conn. woman was actually a victim of computer spyware and an undereducated judicial system. Computer consultant Herb Horner testified at the trial that he discovered malicious programs on the PC in question, but he was not allowed to present his full findings after the prosecution objected.

Prosecutor Michael Regan, state attorney for the New London County, told SCMagazineUS.com on Monday that the state never wavered in its belief that Amero was guilty.

He admitted that investigators failed to conduct a proper forensic exam of the computer's hard drive, but said whether the machine was infected with spyware was not pivotal to the case.

Amero was still at fault because she did nothing to shield her students from seeing the porn images, such as turning off the computer monitor, Regan said.

In addition, the state was prepared to present evidence from another student, who said he also saw "naked people" on Amero's computer roughly a year before the alleged incident took place, Regan said. This testimony was never presented at the trial because prosecutors learned about it too late and were unable to notify the defense team in time.

"It was a compromise," Regan said. "We were ready to go to trial with what we had. We felt she was guilty and she wasn't an appropriate person to be teaching kids."

But those in the IT security community vehemently backed Amero, contending she should have been exonerated because the machine was infected. The defense claimed the images repeatedly popped up and couldn't be turned off, the result of badware installed on a class PC that was running the Windows 98 operating system and expired anti-spyware solutions at the time of the 2004 incident.

Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software and an adviser to the Amero defense team, said a team of IT security experts analyzed a copy of the hard drive – everything except the firewall logs – and discovered an adware program known as "New.Net," which inadvertently had been installed on the machine as part of a Halloween screensaver bundle.

On Oct. 19, 2004, when Amero typed "new hairstyles" into the address bar – and because the adware program had been installed – she was directed to a page of bogus search results, Eckelberry said. She clicked on one, which led to the porn pop-ups.

"We could clearly see she got into pop-up storms and was stumbling around and got into some real trouble," Eckelberry said. "You had a totally untrained computer user who was not capable of understanding what was going on, and the computer was not broadcast to the whole class."

Regan disputed Amero's level of competency, saying that based on her résumé, she frequently worked with computers and had even taken some related courses in college.

Neither Amero, who reportedly is in declining health, nor her attorney, William Dow, responded to a request for comment.