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Teacher gets light sentence for 1980s sex crimes

A local North Carolina teacher must register as a sex offender and surrender her teaching license after she pleaded guilty to charges of indecent liberties with a child that date back two decades. The woman, who was 29 years old when she began a relationship with a high school student in the 1980s, admitted to the sex crimes that occurred at a high school in Catawba County more than 20 years ago. The alleged victim, now 41 years old, says that the woman told him that she wanted to have his baby.

Courtroom reports indicate that the woman is accused of giving the young boy his first drink alcohol. The alleged victim also says that his future trust in women degraded because of his relationship with his teacher. The victim was 15 and attended the Hickory Alternative School at the time of the alleged abuse. The teacher in this case left Catawba County School District after the alleged incident, going to teach in nearby Forsyth County.

North Carolina does not have statutes of limitation related to sex crimes against children. As a consequence, even though the crime occurred in 1987, the woman could still be prosecuted. Luckily, she will not be required to serve time in prison or on probation, but she will be required to abandon her profession and identify herself as a sex offender within her community. The judge in the case was required to follow mandates that date back to the crime's occurrence in 1987; thus, the sentence may be more lenient than that handed down for a modern infraction.

Criminal defense clients who are facing sexual assault or indecent liberties charges may benefit from consulting a qualified criminal defense attorney. These professionals can help clients learn more about their legal rights, including those involving statues of limitation and sentencing guidelines.

Source: WSOC TV, "Local teacher admits to sex crimes 25 years later" Dave Faherty, Dec. 18, 2013

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