Comments about ‘Riverton High teacher charged with rape, sex abuse of student’

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Published: Monday, April 22 2013 2:55 p.m. MDT

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KG
South Jordan, UT

It will be interesting to see what the facts are in this case. Was the sex consensual? Did the victim report it, or did the parents find out and they reported it? Either way, the relationship of trust between the coach/teacher and the student should not be breached. But this teacher's career is over, even if the charges aren't substantiated or are blown out of proportion. If it was consensual, in many ways the victim is less of a victim than the alleged rapist.

Obama10
SYRACUSE, UT

While I never would condone this behavior, I think we may need to look at and revise the statutes and laws concerning 16-17 year olds having sex. A couple of weeks ago, two 17 year old boys were charged as adults for murder. So society says we can charge them with murder, but they are not old enough to decide on sexual matters? Either 16-17 year olds are mature enough to make decisions on murder and sex, or they are not. I know this is an uncomfortable notion, but I think it may be time to start this discussion.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Just plain sad, hope the 17 year old can cope with all of this.

KG
South Jordan, UT

So many inconsistencies in the messages we send to our youth... schools provide contraceptives to students, saying they are old enough to consent to sex. But, if the other person is a few years older, they can't. Again, we don't know the facts here, but I doubt force was involved.

JP
Chandler, AZ

Forget "a few years older", it's a felony if the other person is a few months older if they happen to be the wrong months. I'm all for abstinence before marriage, but locking up an 18 year old for having consensual sex with a 17 year old is morally wrong. We need to overhaul our laws.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

I find it interesting that most here are close to excusing the behavior. Some of the things I agree with such as the age 18 being the age of consent. But I am quite sure if this was an older man doing with with a younger student, girl or boy, it would be an open and shut case in most peoples minds. We have a tendency to excuse the behavior if it is an older woman. We don't see it as sick, or pedophilia if a woman does it. A man does it, and it is seen as sick and perverted. Just an observation.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Regardless of the facts in this particular case, there is no shortage of nuttiness in our sex crime laws.

For example, is a 19 year old who was prosecuted for having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend as much of a danger to our kids as a pedophile who preys on little children? According to the police website used to find sex offenders in our area they must be because I can’t find out which is which.

skibird
Spanish Fork, UT

I think a lot of those responding prior to my response are missing the bigger picture here. Forget the ages and gender of the suspect and victim and just see the fact that it's a high school teacher and her student. Some lines just aren't meant to be crossed.

KG
South Jordan, UT

@ Brahma

I don't mean to sound like I am excusing it. The relationship between teacher and student is a relationship of confidence and authority. If the allegations are true, she should be punished. But, the age of majority is an arbitrary age... 18. That's fine. But, when minors can be charged with murder, or other crimes, as an adult, then there ought to be some flexibility in the age of consent of victims. I don't have any idea of the victim in this case consented. But to call sex "forcible" or "rape" one month and "consensual sex between adults" the next month is ridiculous. To me, it has nothing to do with gender.

Anne26
West Jordan, UT

Something to keep in mind is that a teacher is serving in a role of authority and there are certain lines that they should not cross. Students should not even be considered for romantic partners, regardless of their age.

Parents should not have to worry when they send their children to school, that any teacher will be making sexual or romantic advances on them. As to the argument that it could have been the student making the advancements, the teacher is still required to keep a professional distance. The teacher is the adult and is responsible to act like one. Period.

Maudine
SLC, UT

Actually, in the State of Utah, a 16 or 17 year old individual can consent to sex with an adult who is no more than 10 years older than the youth.

The main issue in this case is the power differential between a teacher and a student - not the age differential.

Whether or not that power differential was used to coerce the youth into the sexual relationship will be up to the court to decide.

earthquakejake
Logan, UT

A few days ago, I was at Walmart with a friend. We were waiting in line next to 3 girls. We started chatting, cracking jokes and basically just making the wait not seem so long. They mentioned how far they had to walk to get to Walmart because they didn't have a car. My friend told them that we can take them home. They said "Yes!" with a relief that they don't have to walk the long trip home. I then asked them how old they were. One was 19 and the other two were 17 who turn 18 in a few months. I said "Nope, sorry, can't take you home."

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

KG - what schools in Utah provide contraceptives?

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

There is no indication from the article that anything was consensual. Things like "forcible" don't spell consent, regardless of age.

Lonster
Sandy, UT

22 years old, 4 years of unversity studies, newly-minted teacher, now her teaching career is likely over, and for what? Sad...

Time For A Tea Party
Ogden, UT

Obama10: Each law takes into account different variables and points of view. In this case the law protects the potential victim (the minor)from being thrust, manipulated, or coaxed into an adult situation that society has deemed undesirable (unacceptable). In the case of murder, the law protects society from the perceived likelihood that the youth will repeat the offense. The youth in case of murder, or other serious crimes, poses a legitimate threat.

Californian#1@94131
San Francisco, CA

The people who are comparing this case with cases of adult murder charges against a 16 or 17 year old are missing the point.

This incident in Riverton is not about teenagers having sex, which is enough of a problem on its own.

If the accusations are true, this case is about a teacher taking advantage of a student; an adult contributing to the delinquency of a minor; a person misusing a position of trust and responsibility given to her by the state and the student's parents.

Rockarolla
West Jordan, UT

This happens entirely too much. There should be mandatory jail time for any teacher having sex with a student...no matter what the age of the student. The teacher has a position of authority and should know better.

Terry
Sandy, UT

Did I misread the article, seems to go out of its way to say this was a student of the school, not a student of that coach/teacher. If that is the case and no true position of authority took place like with a teacher/student and assuming this was done by two willing people outside the school grounds, seems like the worst they should charge is statuatory rape? Why does the state of Utah treat these cases like they are worse than armed robbery? This is already legal for 16-17 year olds to consent to in many states, so it seems a bit excessive to me. Does not seem like we should lock up this 22 year old girl for 1/2 her life and treat her like a hardened criminal over something like this unless the facts turn out to be way worse than I am assuming from reading between the lines. Drug dealers are already being let out early due to overcrowding! Now if with a direct student she should get a harder sentence, but still something far lower than what it sounds like they are charging her with.

KG
South Jordan, UT

@ Utah Dem

I have no idea what schools in Utah, if any, provide contraception. My statements aren't limited to Utah. The problems I point out are nationwide. However, regardless of whether contraception is doled out in Utah really doesn't matter. We teach our teenagers about sex, contraception, and they can get the contraception on their own. Each school seems to teach SexEd differently, and each teacher within the school differently still.

And I am not criminal law expert, but I think the "forcible" part of the charge, the way the law reads, does not necessarily mean the sex wasn't consensual. Because of the position of authority, the "forcible" is somewhat implied because the minor may not feel like he or she can say no.

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