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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Duckhunter
Highland, UT

Anyone want to bet that this woman will get off with nothing more than probation? Certainly she will get a far lighter sentance than a man in a similar situation.

JustAnObservation
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Please remember that this "allegedly" happened. Funny how some of the people here already find her guilty as if they are the jury. I guess she's guilty until proven innocent? I'm not saying it happened or didn't happen. She's not a bad person until they prove she is bad.

dianeect
north salt lake, UT

Given the charges, I do not think this was consensual. The law reads

1) A person commits object rape of a child when the person causes the penetration or touching, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of a child who is under the age of 14 by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, not including a part of the human body, with intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to the child or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

(2) Object rape of a child is a first degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of:

(a) except as provided in Subsection (2)(b) not less than 25 years and which may be for life; or

(b) life without parole, if the trier of fact finds that:

(i) during the course of the commission of the object rape of a child the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another; or

(ii) at the time of the commission of the object rape of a child the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.

(3) Imprisonment under this section is mandatory in accordance with Section 76-3-406.

EurekaRes
Eureka, UT

This is such a unprofessional move by this teacher. I agree with DuckHunter in regards to punishment based on gender. It is unfortunate that when a woman gets in trouble with a young individual it seems almost "cute" to many in a manner. There is a situation in town where a 20 year old girl who has graduated is dating a 16 year old boy at the school. For some reason that seems justified by some. Any individual who is messing around with younger school aged individuals should be punished by the law. It isn't right to turn a blind eye to a situation, whether it is an older woman or older man.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Age isn't the relevant factor in whether this allegation could be brought up as charges. Even if the student had been 21 and was enrolled in the High School where she worked (think Special Education) it would still be illegal. No teacher/administrator/adult working at school should ever cross that professional line. However the line continues to be broken.

I would not be surprised if every single case reported of teacher misconduct had a similar pattern where the educator gradually made small unprofessional choices regarding student interactions before making the larger ones. These behaviors should be easy to identify and used to decrease the abuse of some educators.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

There have been enough women teachers/coaches/aides that have gone to court and to prison for these type of actions, just in Utah. It is an issue of power and trust, whether direct or not, just because they are a teacher, aide or coach no matter which gender. I would picture that every new teacher during orientation and even in their college studies as a student teacher would know the potential consequences for non-compliance with this type of issue. Even students have seen similar situations where their fellow students are trying to get a boost in a grade through a special favor. 17 or 22 years of age isn't much separation by age but it is the law and that is where this teacher appears to gone over that boundary in her position.

It is sad but why was a teacher inviting this girl over to her house in the first place without a group of other teachers or students there as witnesses?

There is definitely a lot of precedence on this type of occurrence.

A complaint by a person, student or teacher, should probably have been filed as actions at school were most likely occurring.

Utah Native
Farmington, UT

Does anyone have statistics on how frequently this happens in Utah vs. nationally? It may be because I only read Utah newspapers, but this illegal teacher/student thing seems to happen far too often in Utah. Offhand I can think of the Lone Peak seminary teacher, the 62-yr-old Layton High choir teacher who married an 18-yr-old student, the two female teachers in Bountiful with the one 14-year-old male student, the Kaysville teacher this past December, the Roosevelt teacher, the Liahona teacher, the St. George high school teacher...the list really could go on and on.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Seems like a double standard here. It's like a thief judging someone for stealing.

No name
Provo, UT

Utah is abstinence only. Health teachers can talk about basic male and female anatomy and diseases, but we cannot discuss contraception at all. We are legally bound. Teens usually find out sexual information from their peers, and unfortunately that information is not always reliable. Parents think everything that their teen needs to know is covered at school, but that is not true. Parents need to talk with their teens instead of sweeping it under the rug or assuming the sex topic will be covered at school. As far as the teacher is concerned, she is in a position of trust. Proper ethics is drilled into us as we prepare to become educators. She knows that what she was doing was inappropriate. However, I do agree that our laws can be over the top, especially when a 18 an year old gets put on the sex offenders list for having a sexual relationship with their 17 year old BF or GF. Turning 18 does not make a student suddenly mature in an instant. Regardless of what the law says, they are still kids in that their brains and emotional capacities are still developing.

wer
South Jordan, UT

I believe the teacher is innocent.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

No one comments on the elephant in the room. Both the teacher and student are the same gender, as I read the story. To me this is an issue of a person with same gender attraction seeking a position of authority over minors, the sophomore girl's basketball team, to identify and groom potential partner/victims. It may be the teacher was recruited/exposed/seduced into this behavior in the same way that she is/was trying to recruit/expose/seduce others young women.

Hurteau
Auburn, MA

I say let the charges be read into evidence without mentioning gender and see how it plays out, otherwise this is just another way to show women are not responsible for their actions.

If this was a male teacher, the rage and demand for punishment would be deafening.

roberto
Moses Lake, WA

Double standard... As has been mentioned in previous posts, if the teacher had been a man, he would have been hung out to dry. (and would have deserved it) She is no different. Just as wrong. And making excuses doesn't make it any less wrong.

worf
Mcallen, TX

If the man is a political leader,--nothing would happen. I could list a few examples.

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