Sometimes, it can be tempting to believe that sensational news stories involving sexual misconduct only occur at large, popular schools. This isn't always the case. Sexual misconduct can happen anywhere.
Recently, at a high school in a small Missouri town, a teacher found herself facing charges of sexual misconduct - after allegedly “sending nude photographs of herself to three male students.” Federal laws governing sexual misconduct cases at public schools, including Title IX, dictate that schools need to investigate these types of claims very quickly.
As the resulting investigation progressed, it became evident that those photographs weren't the only potentially damning piece of evidence against the accused teacher.
A Series of Worst-Case Scenarios For a Sexual Misconduct Defendant
In May 2017, the police received a complaint from a concerned high school parent. The complaint detailed a problematic, “sexually-provocative” conversation between a high school student and his teacher. The police decided to act upon this information and conduct interviews with the parent, as well as some of the boys in the suspect teacher's class.
After this, the police obtained a search warrant for the teacher's phone. They quickly found that the teacher had nude photographs of her students stored on the device. Shortly thereafter, they interviewed and arrested the teacher.
That wasn't the last of the incriminating evidence the police found. Three days after the teacher's arrest, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force got involved, seizing a computer, tablet, and various CDs from the teacher's home. Examination of these materials yielded further evidence of inappropriate sexual conduct.
Not only did the teacher have lewd pictures of her young students saved on her device, but she had also sent suggestive images of herself to her students. Further analysis also found that the teacher asked one of the boys to have sex with her on multiple occasions, frequently speaking to him “in a sexual manner.”
At the time, the boys involved were thirteen years old.
The defendant ultimately received four years in prison for sexual misconduct and the promotion of child pornography.
How to Make Sure This Doesn't Happen to You
Obviously don't act inappropriately with others, but especially if you're a student or staffer and you stand falsely accused of wrongdoing by your high school, college, or university, you need to take quick action to avoid unpleasant outcomes like this one. There may be steps you can take to avoid making significant mistakes. In addition, there are always advantages to working with seasoned legal professionals as early as possible.
Although the defendant in this case received several years behind bars for her actions, it could have been worse: Her initial charges were much higher. By working with a clever defense team, she was able to cap her sentences and get some of her charges dismissed.
Whether you fight to appeal punitive measures at your university or need assistance navigating due process without making the wrong move, Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm will work tirelessly to provide you with the expertise you need. Contact us today by calling 888-535-3686.