Comments about ‘Ex-Riverton High teacher pleads to reduced charges in sex abuse case’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 3 2014 5:58 p.m. MST

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GoRed
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

This seems to be a light punishment considering what she did. If prosecutors/judges could come down harder on people who take advantage of other younger people like this lady did, then I think you would see a decrease in this sort of crime.

InterestedObserver
Provo, UT

Give me a break, had this been a male teacher it would never have been reduced to the point that one wouldn't be required to be Sex Register Site.

Sex with a minor is sex with a minor, regardless of gender.

LovelyDeseret
Gilbert, AZ

I don't understand this plea deal. Utah's age of consent is 18 but a 17 year old is allowed to consent to sexual relations with an adult up to 27 years of age.
Applying the Watkins reasoning, there was no authority issue, so the 23 year old teacher can legally have sexual relations with the 17 year old.
Secondly, Utah's sodomy laws are prima facia unconstitutional per Lawrence v Texas.
As much as we don't like teachers looking for sexual partners in school, there appears to be no law broken and the defensive lawyer has convinced the client to plea scared.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

What a joke.

Male Lone Peak Seminary teacher? 15 years.
Make Provo High Science teacher? Min of 5 years, punishment is still pending.

This woman? Tap on the wrist.

What a double standard. Men have their lives utterly ruined while women receive taps on the wrist. What ever happened to equality? They want equal pay but not equal punishments?

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@LovelyDeseret: I strongly disapprove of any employee/minor relationship in a school. If nothing else, it's poisonous to morale, possibly worse so than workplace romances, plus it affects the whole community. That said, though, you have an interesting point. At first reading, the letter of the law does seem to permit such relationships. I'm not even sure that section 76-5-402.2 of the Utah Code is affected by Lawrence, since the initial phrase contains the words "without the victim's consent."

But perhaps the words don't mean what they mean in plain English? The age of consent in Utah is 18. Just because the age-difference rule permits the relationship in one section of the Code, perhaps it's not permissive in this section?

It does make one wonder, though, if the outcome would have been different with another lawyer. I wish the DN had interviewed some more legal experts. The story now seems incomplete.

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

My sole comment. Had Courtney been a guy and involved in a same sex relationship with a student at the school where he taught would he get the same punishment?

AllBlack
San Diego, CA

"misdemeanor charges that doesn't require her to register as a sex offender"

Give me a break, So typical of Utah justice system. Nice, blonde women are always given special treatment. Men are punished twice as much.

And how in the world could she not be a sex offender? She was charged with 'object rape'. Doesn't take much of an imagination to work out what that's about.

New to Utah
PAYSON, UT

This reeks of double standard,miscarriage of justice and virtually no punishment because of gender. This teacher had sex with a minor student and had a very soft sentence. It is ludicrous to say they were in love,the victim fell prey to an au;thority figure who took advantage of her position to engage in sexual relations. This is a horrible precedent and opens the door to similar cases where the punishment is a slap on the wrist.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

As was pointed out elsewhere, the ages of the two were close enough that they could legally engage in a sexual relationship as long as one wasn't in a position of authority over the other. The younger of the two has stated that it was a mutual relationship with no one being forced to do anything. That being the case, where is the actual crime? Is the prosecutor pushing this one because of the "ick" factor since both participants are female or because one was a teacher and thus needs to be made an example? If she were a college student involved with a high school student, ages remaining the same as they are in this case, would anyone be charged with anything?

And for "AllBlack", "Object rape" simply means they used sex toys, such as a vibrator, during their intimacies. It doesn't mean force was used or that the other person didn't want it; it's just a legal term when used in court. In this case, it meant that the prosecutor thought he could prove the other person wasn't old enough to have given consent.

CB
Salt Lake City, UT

No big surprise here. If questioned, I think that you find most young people are lured into
same sex relationship where propositioned by someone older who had found them venerable
and needy. Thus the need to make it 'legal and OK' by sanctioning it with 'marriage'.

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

It figures that a female teacher would get a light punishment verses a male. Total double standard.

There's another such case pending in Utah. I'll be watching to see that outcome as well.

Voters need to remember these rulings when they vote support on judges.

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