TX - Teacher Faces 20 Years For Having Sex With An 18 Year Old Student

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Wudge, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3960691.html

    If this case goes to trial, it could well become a benchmark case, because the defense will look for the jury to find this 25 year-old female teacher to be innocent via nullification of a law in Texas that was passed three years ago -- Judges will not allow for a defense to be a request for jury nullification.

    A resulting trial will almost assuredly be closely followed by the entire legal community, because the vast majority of contemporary Judges contend that juries do not have the right to nullify laws.

    In the event of a trial, I believe many who post here could learn a good deal about jury nullification and a juries alleged rights -- as seen by most trial Judges -- versus the power that juries truly possess. This case could turn into could an excellent learning vehicle for understanding how Judges have usurped powers that the founding fathers intended for juries to have.
     
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  3. Eoanthropus Dawsoni

    Eoanthropus Dawsoni New Member

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    It seems odd to devote time and resources into prosecuting this case when the student is an adult.
     
  4. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Obviously, they were consenting adults, and I agree with you.

    Nevertheless. jurors are told by Judges that the are triers of fact against the law as passed. Judges also tell jurors that they do not have the right to nullify the law.
     
  5. jttnewguy

    jttnewguy New Member

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    Here's the thing that bothers me about stories like these...the media always seem to make a big deal about female teachers having sex with underage male students. But the reality is that, statistically, it's much, much more common for male teachers to molest underage girls, and when it happens, it's usually more dangerous because the situation is far more likely to be predatory or coercive in nature and less likely to be "consensual" (I use that word reluctantly because legally a minor can never consent, but hopefully you know what I mean). And yet the press seems to rarely reports those stories. Why is that?
     
  6. LinetteH

    LinetteH Loving life in Colorado

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    While I think it was morally wrong for a teacher to have sex with a student (I think that even if the students are in college) I also think there are bigger fish to fry than this. We've let people go on bigger charges (teacher in Florida having sex with a minor) and now they want to make an example of this teacher? Bizarre and a waste of time and money!
     
  7. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Female teachers who have sex with one or more of their students would "seem to" be more rare. And it is definitely more titillating and, thus, report worthy for the tabloid denizens who make their living based on crimetainment ratings.
     
  8. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    I'm sure that this teacher knew what the law was as far as employees in a school district having sex with students of any age. She gambled and she lost.

    I highly doubt that this 18 yr old will be traumatized by the encounters. After all she is only 25 yrs old. He probably struts around like a peacock. If he was out of school then I wouldn't see any problem with their relationship. It was said that their relationship lasted for 2-3 months. He says they had sex...she says they didn't. Only the two of them and the good Lord knows the truth.

    Maybe pretty young teachers should only be allowed to teach K-4. Mary Kay L. started her thing with Ville when he was in the sixth grade so it would have to be just the lower grades.
     
  9. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    No one, anywhere, is claiming that he was traumatized. He is an adult of legal age who consented to have sex.
     
  10. GlitchWizard

    GlitchWizard Reprobate

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    This is stupid.

    I hate it when every single little stupid thing has to be made a huge deal of. Just based on her job, they tell her who she can sleep with? Okay, so have her lose her job. Period.
     
  11. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    I agree with you, Eoanthropus.

    This one, because the 'victim' is of legal age in the state to consent to sex, seems more of a school disciplinary problem than worthy of prosecution in the court system.

    I realize it is not a statuatory rape case and is being tried under a different law that does not differentiate whether the victim is 5 or 18. Surely there should be age levels under this law just like there are under the statuatory rape laws.
     
  12. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Correct, and that is why the defendant's only out is for a jury to nullify the law by finding her to be innocent even though the act of sex took place between a teacher and their student.

    The real dilemma is that trial judges will not allow a defense team to ask the jury to nullify the law (not a lawful defense), and the trial Judge will tell the jury they do not have the right to nullify the law. If this case does go to trial, that is why it will be widely followed; i.e., to see if the jury breaks the code (as to their real power) and spits in the Judge's eye by finding the defendant to be innocent.

    The question is: Who is in charge, the Judge or the jury?
     
  13. ellen13

    ellen13 New Member

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    You know when I was in high school a teacher had sex with an 18 year old senior and she didn't get in trouble-that was back in 87 or 88. It might be completely unethical and immorral, but illegal? How can it be?
     
  14. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    It is illegal, because Texas passed a law whereby teachers may not have sex with any of their students. The law does not contain any age exception.
     
  15. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    It falls under the same law that makes it illegal for prison guards to have sex with (adult) prisoners. Its viewed as abuse of authority and usually called "statutory rape of persons under custody" because the implication is because one individual posseses undisputed power/authority over another, there is invariably an element of coerciion involved.
     
  16. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Certainly noteworthy, but, obviously, a "student" is not a "prisoner". This student and this teacher are both of legal age and members of our free society, free to make choices, free to consent to sex.

    Moreover, under the law, this 25 year old teacher would be in the same situation if she had sex with a student who was a 35 year old man -- lawyer, doctor, scientist, principal, whatever.
     
  17. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    I didn't say that anyone said that they thought he would be traumatized did I? That is usually the complaint that we hear when we find out that a teacher or older woman had something going with a school kid. I've even wondered if the 14-15 yr old boys end up traumatized. Especially in this day and age. I would think that the teenager would think he was pretty cool to get a good looking teacher. He'd be the stud muffin among his peers I would think.
     
  18. jttnewguy

    jttnewguy New Member

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    I disagree with that. Remember, a teacher controls the student's grades, and therefore has enormous control over a student's future -- whether they get into college, etc. And for students who have overly demanding parents, by virtue of having control over the student's grades, the teacher has control over their home life and whether they make their parents proud or angry.

    Remember also that in most states, a student is virtually a prisoner -- they are compelled to go to school by state law, and compelled to stay there all day under penalty of truancy laws (except in states that recognize home schooling, but not all states allow it). In a number of states, it is actually a crime for a student to have too many unexcused absences, and they can be imprisoned in juvenile detention camps as punishment.

    The whole point of these teacher-student sex statutes is that it's the law that forces the student to be there, and the law that gives the teacher sole control over their grades, and when the law forces your kids into that situation, the law should protect your kids from being preyed upon.

    Although the facts of this particular case are a little silly, in many other situations (imagine a 40-year old male teacher and a 15-year old girl), there is no such thing as true "voluntary" consent, since a student may feel that he/she cannot really say "no" except at the risk of being punished in ways that cannot ever be corrected, such as being given poor grades that may change her life forever by preventing her from going to college. And even if there isn't that kind of retaliation, put yourself in the place of the girl who said no -- even if the teacher did something inappropriate and you resisted, imagine how it feels emotionally that the law requires you to keep coming back to the creep's classroom and sitting there facing him every day for the rest of the year.
     
  19. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Regarding one section in your post,I do not believe one is compelled to attend high school at the age of 18. In many states the legal drop out age is 16, but I think 18 would be the oldest. So in reality, the student was not compelled to attend.
    I think this is a very interesting case and I see valid arguments for both sides of the issue. But as Wudge says, it will really come down to the jury nullifying the law and that makes this case worth following.
     
  20. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    Does anyone know if she was required to sign the Professional Standards page attached to most teachers' contracts? Perhaps this state doesn't have a moral turpitude clause in the contract itself?
    In most states, her behavior would result in an immediate Professional Standards Commission meeting and her teaching credentials would be revoked nation-wide. I haven't seen any reference to that. It may be that they are waiting to see how the criminal charges shake out, but that shouldn't be an issue.
     
  21. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    I think you miss the point, an 18 year old male is not a "kid". He is of legal age and free to consent to sex. But because of this law in Texas, his consent resulted in a criminal act by the 25 year old female teacher.

    This raises the question: Should she go to prison?
     

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