***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.
BLOG POST #177: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a 15-year-old high school student and her 50-year-old teacher.
It was her first year in public school. She’d been home-schooled through eighth grade.
He’d been with the high school for six years, teaching health sciences.
She’d been a student in his forensics class when another student said they’d witnessed the student and teacher kiss in his classroom. The accusation was unsubstantiated but the rumors were rampant and triggered the following events.
Crossing The Line
The morning the teacher disappeared with his student he’d left a note for his wife. He said he needed to get away and ‘clear his head.’ He took with him $4,500 and two prescription refills of an erectile dysfunction medication.
While authorities were desperately searching for the two, they combed through emails between them. Using the school email system the teacher and the teen communicated.
The District Attorney said, “You could describe it [emails] as somewhat intimate in nature. Not a conversation expected for a teacher to be having with a 15-year-old student.”
The D.A. went on to say about the emails, “It definitely makes clear that the nature of their relationship, they seemed to view as romantic.” And that the emails between them were consistent with ‘grooming.’
Amber Alert Success
Thirty-nine days later a tipster in California who’d seen the photos on the Amber Alert reported their whereabouts—close to 1,900 miles from home—and assisted in the capture and rescue.
The former science teacher pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice.
In January 2019, a judge sentenced the ex-teacher to 20 years in federal prison. Upon his release from prison, he’ll be required to register as a sex offender.
What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
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