Posted: August 13, 2017
By Jeffrey Caplan, Rare.us
MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. —
Two Alabama teachers accused of having sex with students had their charges dismissed by a judge who declared the state’s teacher-student sex law unconstitutional.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson issued the ruling Thursday that, at least for now, will keep former Decatur High School teacher Carrie Witt and David Solomon, an ex-aide at Falkville High School, from facing charges.
According to AL.com, Witt, 44, was arrested in March 2016 when police said she had sex with two teenagers — one who was 17 and the other 18 — when they were her students at Decatur High School. Solomon, 27, was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.
The law the judge has deemed unconstitutional prohibits any school employees from having sex with students who are younger than 19. Teachers or other school employees in violation of the law can be charged with a Class B felony that carries a punishment up to 20 years in prison. They must also register as sex offenders if convicted. Consent is not a defense.
However, the law is harsher on teachers and school employees than other citizens, who do not face criminal prosecution for having sex with 16-year-olds. State prosecutors, AL.com reported, have argued the law is constitutional and designed to protect students.
Decatur Police Department, Hartselle Police Department
Decatur Police Department, Hartselle Police Department
A California teacher who was jailed for having sex with a student is reportedly suing the pupil for damaging her reputation.
Former Arroyo Grande High School teacher Tara Stumph, 36, is claiming that the 16-year-old boy she had a sexual relationship with for a year defamed her “to various classmates, family and other members of the community,” according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Stumph, who is married to a firefighter and a mother of three, went to jail for 180 days, a sentence she started serving May 1. She initially faced five charges following an eight-month investigation, but four of the charges were dropped in a plea deal.
Police reportedly were tipped off to the relationship in December 2015, and Stumph was put on administrative leave.
The boy’s parents sued her for pain, suffering and emotional distress, the Tribune reported. The lawsuit, also brought against the school district and her former principal, alleges she “cultivated” the pupil’s trust over several months and encouraged him to confide in her.
Stumph answered those claims with a lawsuit of her own, claiming the student’s statements damaged her reputation and career. She wants indemnity for any judgments made, according to the Tribune. Stumph’s teaching license was revoked after her conviction, but she will not be required to register as a sex offender upon her release from San Luis Obispo County Jail, the newspaper reported.
The family’s lawsuit against the former cooking teacher stated that she molested him “during and after class” and sent nude selfies and sexually explicit videos of herself to him.
It also said, “The sexual abuse and exploitation of (the victim), and the circumstances under which it occurred, caused (him) to develop various psychological coping mechanisms, which reasonably made him incapable of ascertaining that Stumph’s conduct was harmful to him.”
A new lawsuit alleges that a Florida high school teacher had inappropriate relationships with at least eight students and that the school board was notified in 2008 but took no action.
According to the Miami Herald and New York Daily News, Jason Meyers is accused of abusing and molesting multiple female students throughout his 14 years as an educator, grooming some of his creative writing students and encouraging them to write sexually explicit material. The lawsuit filed against the Miami-Dade School Board claims that he had sexual relationships with a minimum of eight students known as “Jason’s girls” and that school officials were aware of the allegations.
Among the allegations, Meyers allegedly told one student to study Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” and to pay attention to passages about an older man seducing a young girl. He also reportedly gave another student promiscuous clothes to wear, told her to break up with her boyfriend and instructed her to give one of her poems an explicit title. The lawsuit also claims that he forcefully kissed and groped one student and had sex with another student in his classroom.
The lawsuit also accuses the school district of being aware of Meyers’ behavior and transferring him from Dr. Michael M. Krop High School to Miami Palmetto Senior High School.
“As alleged, the School Board knew that Mr. Meyers posed a serious risk of sexual abuse against our community’s children. Yet it did virtually nothing to stop him,’’ said Miami attorney Mark Schweikert, who filed the suit along with partner Ronald Weil. “Instead, the School Board merely relocated the risk posed by his predatory behavior from one school to another.”
Meyers was arrested in February 2016 on charges of sexual battery of a minor involving one student.
Nina Scott, 28, reportedly taught at a school called The Village – a court-ordered child-care facility for kids with emotional and behavioral problems in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania – from October 2015 until she was fired in December. She was arrested in January.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Scott faced numerous counts of institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and other charges for alleged sexual encounters with the girl in 2016. The encounters took place at their school, in Scott’s vehicle and her home, police said.
Charging documents said the student initiated the relationship when she passed a note to Scott asking her, “How would you feel if I kissed you?” Scott reportedly returned the note with a message that she would not tell anyone. Officers said a search the girl’s room revealed a stash of love letters from Scott to the student.
Scott, who reportedly called her student “her girlfriend” and even referred to her 2-year-old as “their daughter,” pleaded guilty Monday to institutional sexual assault.
The Main Line Times reported that Scott will serve at least three months on electronic home monitoring. Scott also was placed on five years of sex offender probation and prohibited from contacting the girl.
Scott apologized to the victim and her family, as well as her own family.
“This will never happen again,” she told Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Cappelli, according to the Times.
WCAU reported that the school’s superintendent, William Colarulo, said at an earlier court hearing, saying, “The only way I can describe what this teacher did is downright disgusting. As a parent and as a police officer for 36 years, it never ceases to amaze me when you put children in the care of a position such as a teacher, and they violate that trust.”
– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
A Pennsylvania teacher has been sentenced to prison time for sexually assaulting two female students.
According to WPMT, Randi Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, had sexual relations with two female students while teaching at Bishop McDevitt High School, a private Catholic school in Harrisburg. One of the relationships lasted from January 2013 to October 2016, while the other relationship began in early 2015 and also ended in October 2016, WPMT reported.
Zurenko – who faced numerous charges, including institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and possession of child pornography – was sentenced Thursday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the Dauphin County Prison, WPMT reported.
The 2 1/2-hour hearing brought heartfelt testimonies from the parents of the victims and the victims themselves. According to PennLive, one of the victims said Zurenko “slowly shattered every belief I held.” A father of one of the students said, “You deserve no grace, no chance at rehabilitation. You deserve no success.”
The former teacher, a mother of five, asked for leniency in light of her young children. In his sentencing, the judge declared, “Your conduct can only be described as incomprehensible. ... You became a villain.”
Investigators said Zurenko gave the victims alcohol, and one of the victims said in court that the situation threw her into a depression and that she even contemplated suicide, PennLive reported.
Zurenko’s lawyer said the former teacher is “a good woman who was truly in love with her victims.” He claimed she "is not somebody who took advantage of somebody else. She had real feelings for this person.” He also asked that the judge consider house arrest.
After serving her sentence, Zurenko will spend four years on probation and will have to complete 500 hours of community service.
Therese Gunn admitted Friday that she’d had a sexual relationship with one of her students. The 54-year-old, now-former orchestra teacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia, said she couldn’t believe she’d done it, and that she’d made a poor decision, and that she was sorry.
She then changed course, however briefly, and blamed her victim – claiming the then-17-year-old boy had coerced her into the relationship that developed at South Gwinnett High School.
“He did,” Gunn said in front of Judge Warren Davis. “He was like a used car salesman.”
Davis didn’t care for that argument, nor did prosecutor Karen West. And after Gunn entered her guilty plea to a single count of sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, the judge sentenced her to serve 90 days in prison.
The remainder of her 10-year sentence will be spent on probation.
“I don’t find that you're the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years,” Davis said. “We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You're not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care.”
Gunn, who worked as a teacher for 25 years and had been at South Gwinnett since 2002, was arrested in May 2016. At the time, police said she had held a relationship with the student, whom she taught for three years, for several months. Sexual activity allegedly "occurred at the school, at the teacher's [Loganville-area] residence and at Lenora Park.”
The relationship came to light after the student's mother found his journal and reported the relationship to police.
Under Georgia law, sexual contact between anyone with supervisory or disciplinary authority – such as a law enforcement officer, teacher or psychiatrist – and a person under their care is illegal, even if it’s consensual.
Gunn was the fourth Gwinnett teacher arrested on sex-related charges during the 2015-16 school year. Since then, three more Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers have arrested on similar charges, including former University of Georgia football player Mikey Henderson.
Another teacher who worked at the private Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn was also arrested earlier this year.
In their initial press release regarding Gunn’s case, Gwinnett County police said they had "discovered that the teacher hosted a party at her home in Grayson.”
“During the party, the teacher allowed the 17-year-old and two other female students to smoke marijuana under her direct supervision,” police wrote. “According to the detective, the teacher smoked marijuana, as well."
Gunn was initially charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but was not indicted on those charges.
The victim that Gunn admitted to having sexual encounters with briefly spoke in court Friday afternoon. He said Gunn “made [his] adolescence hell.”
A former Colorado teacher’s aide, who has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with two students, reportedly waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday in an effort to keep negotiations with the district attorney’s office open.
According to the Greeley Tribune, Jerica Enriquez, 24, is facing charges in two separate cases involving underage, male students. In one case, she has been charged with sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and obscenity to a minor. In the other, she faces a charge of enticement of a child. The charges stem from her time working at Prairie Heights Middle School and Jefferson Junior High School in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, Enriquez allegedly kissed a student in a classroom and offered to have sex with him, the Tribune reported. The boy reportedly told police and admitted to prosecutors that she also sent him a picture of herself wearing only a bra and underwear and a picture of herself naked. According to the boy, they never had sex.
However, authorities said Enriquez did have sex with a 14-year-old student in fall 2016, the Tribune reported. Police also said she sent a nude photo of herself to the student, as well as a picture of a negative pregnancy test.
Enriquez has not yet entered a plea in either case. Her attorney indicated that she wishes to continue to negotiate a possible plea with prosecutors.
Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news, updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
Take www.97xonline.com everywhere you go! Download your app below from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store:
Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!