A West Palm Beach English teacher sponsored an after-school writing program. When one of his students shared a poem that was about a sexual assault she experienced from a family member, the teacher took that as an opportunity to move in on the student himself. Shortly after the teacher reported the incident to the sexual abuse hotline, police suspected him of having a sexual relationship with the girl himself. The teacher denied the charges telling police that he was only giving the girl rides home. This past Monday, the teacher pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the sexual abuse of a minor.
The victim’s story is not unique. Many sexual abuse survivors have claimed that they were targeted by sexual abusers due to their history of sexual abuse. In fact, once they admit to a history of sexual abuse, they are more likely to be sexually abused.
The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact between a teacher and a minor. He was given one year in prison with four years of sex offender probation. He could have faced a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
The teacher was caught after the prosecution found “sexually charged” text messages between the student and the teacher.
In 2018, authorities received an anonymous letter concerning an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student. Both denied that anything untoward was occurring and insisted only that the teacher was giving the student rides back home. The investigation resumed when a former student again reported the two, this time giving police details concerning the relationship. It was then that the victim admitted having sexual relations with the teacher, but told investigators she was never forced or coerced.
The bottom line
Illicit relationships between students and teachers are almost always exposed eventually. While rape and sexual assault lawsuits remain difficult for prosecutors, one type of case that is not difficult to prove is illegal sexual relationships between teachers and students. Why are those different? Well, in these cases, the teachers tend not to think that they are doing anything wrong. People who do things that are wrong, usually try to hide the wrong things that they did. For some reason, teachers who engage in sexual behavior with students don’t have their guard up. Perhaps if they did, it would be a bit like admitting they were doing something wrong.
In this case, the police had text messages between the two, and the teen likely told someone else about the relationship who then reported it to the police. When the police leaned on the victim, she spilled her guts.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are accused of a serious crime, it helps to have an attorney who can leverage a plea bargain on your behalf. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your situation and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.