A former Durham teacher's aide pleaded guilty to sex charges yesterday. She was set to go to trial this month for engaging in sexual activity with a student, kidnapping and indecent liberties.
The former teacher is accused of having sex with a ten-year-old student at Creekside Elementary, the teacher's employer, in 2009. She appeared in court yesterday for a plea deal in her case. Under the plea deal, the charges against her were consolidated, resulting in a reduced sentence.
The woman asked to be placed on supervised probation for 36 months in Santa Barbara, California, where she would live with her parents. However, the judge sentenced her to 58 months in prison. After her prison sentence, she will be on probation for three years in California. Further, she must stay away from the victim and his family, register as a sex offender and can no longer work with children under the age of 16.
According to prosecutors, the woman would remove the child from the bus line at school and take him to her classroom. This raised concerns among other teachers and the boy's mother, prompting an investigation into the relationship. The woman gave the boy a cell phone so they could plan meetings. Also, the woman took the child from his home on at least two occasions.
A letter written by the child describing the explicit details of his relationship with the woman was read aloud in court yesterday. Further, the victim's mother read a statement, calling the former teacher a "monster." According to her, her son is experiencing extreme anger and hurt about the abuse. He attends counseling and had to transfer to a new school.
The family of the victim agreed to the plea deal because the young victim could not handle the stress of a trial.
According to an attorney for the former teacher, the woman suffers from bipolar and personality disorders and was not taking her medication at the time of her sexual relationship with the student. She is now taking her medication again and has deep regret about the situation.
Source: ABC11 Eyewitness News "Teacher pleads guilty to sex charges" 9/2/10