EDUCATOR/STUDENT IMPROPER RELATIONSHIPS
An improper relationship between an educator and a student is defined as any sexual conduct between an employee and a student. Charges may also be brought forward if, with the intent to commit a sexual offense, the educator:
Communicates in a sexually explicit manner
Distributes sexually explicit material
Solicits sexual conduct from a student
Charges may be brought against educators in both public and private education systems. If convicted, the result will likely be a second degree felony, punishable with up to 20 years in prison with up to a $10,000 fine. The statute criminalizes conduct between students and employees in this severe manner to prevent a school employee from taking advantage of the employee-student relationship
DEFENSES FOR IMPROPER RELATIONSHIPS
The fact that the student victim is of legal age or consented is not a defense. There are very limited affirmative defenses available under this statute. However, if you were married to the enrolled party at the time of the alleged offense, you may be excused from charges. Additionally, if you were no more than three years older than the student and you entered into a relationship with them before hired on as an educator, you may be relieved of charges as well.
If the defenses above do not apply to your case, you can still challenge the charges on the following basis:
The charges against you can be proven false,
The student has an ulterior motive to falsify these charges,
The evidence against you is not credible, or
The evidence against you is insufficient to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
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CALL JUSTIN SPARKS TO FIGHT IMPROPER RELATIONSHIP CHARGES
If you are accused of an improper student/teacher relationship, it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Your license to teach in the future could be taken away from you and any statements made by you to school officials or the police could be misconstrued and make you look guilty.
This type of criminal allegation could make you look bad in the court of public opinion and affect your right to a fair trial if an attorney is not involved in the early stages of the investigation. You need the guidance of an attorney experienced in handling such accusations before a trial court and your licensing board.