Comments about ‘Ex-Riverton High teacher gets probation, fines in sex abuse case’

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Published: Tuesday, April 8 2014 12:10 p.m. MDT

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Commodore
West Jordan, UT

Had this been a man he would have served jail time. Maybe I'm wrong, but it sure seems like the female teachers get a slap on the wrist instead of the full justice they deserve and their male counterparts get.

SoUtahFriend
Saint George, Utah

We had an athletic trainer who did this with a young male. She's now serving 15 years at the point of the mountain. Odd to see this TEACHER on the street with only a slap on the hand

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

I would love to see the statistics on how female are sentences verses males.

It often seems as though females get off easy when it comes to these situations.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

Not that I agree with everything here, whats wrong is wrong and should be handled the same. But I think what they are looking at here is the age of those involved. I know the supposed victim was 17 when they met, but the relationship carried into her being 18 which makes it all fine and well but she was still a student. I can think only that that is the reason for the slap rather actually going to jail for three years. She was sentenced to three years, but the judge suspended the jail time. Above anything, if this was simply pressure or falling into the wrong hands at the wrong time. I hope the supposed victim can go on with life as a normal adult. Also, the reason I say supposed is because it wasn't forced, it was a consentual relationship between the two. If you read the early articles, it was the parents who made her go to authorities when they found out. Sounds to me more like the pride of a parent was hurt.

airnaut
Everett, 00

18 months propation,
100 hours community service,
and a $900 fine?

Perhaps male teachers found guilty of sex with a student should try crying at their trials...

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Probably appropriate since there was no true victim.

YOGI46
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Yes, if and when the parents found out they should go to the authorities. Abuse is abuse and even though it was reported a year later or when ever it needs to be reported and dealt with. It's not only about the abused..it is also to make sure the abuser gets the help he/she needs. This is a very unfortunate event to begin with and should never happen.

midvale guy
MIDVALE, UT

This sentence is utterly ridiculous. @cjb, I don't know how you can possibly think there was no victim in this. If someone is under 18 years of age they cannot give their consent legally. This automatically makes them a victim in this case. The other problem is everyone at that school had a chance of being a victim. We trust teachers to be around our children and youth and behave as adults. She should definitely have to register as a sex offender and never be allowed to teach school or be in a position to offend again as part of any organization. And she definitely would've done jail time if she were a male. Anyone who votes for this judge next time his name comes up on the ballot should think twice.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

It doesn't sound like the victim feels victimized. The only one who seems to be a victim is the prosecuting attorney.

Archibald
SLC, UT

The double standard of sentencing for men vs women is pathetic.

U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT

Don't be surprised next time it happens, and the time after that, and after that........and so on. Our Judges own it.

Rational
Salt Lake City, UT

The Utah Supreme Court is flat-out wrong. A person under 18 years old is, by legal definition and by biology not fully capable of adult decisions.

"Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age 18. But emerging science about brain development suggests that most people don't reach full maturity until the age 25." See NPR: Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years

What parts are under-developed in 17-18 year olds? The parts required to make good judgements and controlling impulses.

What parts are over-active? The parts seeking rewards, thrills, subject to peer-pressure (so if the perp wasn't in place of special influence, she was a peer?).

If this would've been a man, he'd be in jail. If it would have been a black man smoking a joint on a corner, he'd be serving 10 years, but a woman screwing a student, hey, be our guest (of our courts, but not our jails of course.)

Our courts and judges are screwed up.

LovelyDeseret
Gilbert, AZ

Utah loves their suspended jail sentences.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Re Midvale Guy

You are talking legal, I am talking reality. Anyway if people under 18 are so immature that they can't give consent, then we ought to always try them in the Juvenile court for what ever they do.

K
Mchenry, IL

In utah the age of consent is not 18. In several states it's not 18. Since the teacher was not many years older than the student this is perfectly legal. 17 to 23 is not that many years different.

She wasn't the students teacher or coach. I don't believe she should be teaching or coaching but there was not direct authority over the student.

It does bother me than female teachers get away with it. But in this case the ages don't make it a problem and the direct teacher student/athlete relationship wasn't there.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

17-23 is a big difference in maturity. 43-49, less so.

3grandslams
Iowa City, IA

This decision is very wrong. This teacher is not being punished, her position was used to lure this girl and have free access to her classroom AND initiated the first contact with the note expressing her "feelings".

It wasn't too long ago a LDS seminary teacher had the same type of consensual relationship, not only was he demonized in the press, the law, compared to this case, was unmerciful to him and said boldly he needed to be an example.

Why the double standard?

Icarus
Dallas, Texas

Does Utah have judge retention elections? This guy would be on my list. And the Utah Supreme Court would be too with a ruling that a teacher has to have a "position of special trust". What about the fact that the student may be in that person's class next semester or year? Or the teacher has hall duty? Or can influence the student's current teacher(s) in the faculty lounge? There's a million ways a teacher in a school can coerce students, even if there is no "position of special trust".

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

Clearly, if the sexes of the parties involved were different, there would be a hue and cry to lock the teacher up forever and register him as a dangerous sex-offender. Of greater concern is the issue of ability to consent. We seem to also be of two minds on this matter as well. When it comes to anything sexual, we are adamant that anyone under eighteen is pure and innocent, and couldn't possibly consent to a relationship -- unless, of course, the other person is their own age, in which case their judgment becomes rational and mature. For non-sexual matters, however, we have no problem at all taking fourteen and fifteen year olds into adult court and treating them as if they were mature adults when they commit crimes. As a paralegal, I was involved with cases where the prosecutor wanted to charge twelve year olds as adults. Let's make up our collective minds -- either minors are competent or they are not. Trying to have it both ways makes us look foolish.

K
Mchenry, IL

The law says a girl can consent at 16 or 17 if the other person is no more than 7 years older. It's not opinion that the ages are appropriate 17-23. If the other person was a boy the teacher would be legally in trouble because boys can't consent until 18 in Utah. I'm not sure why this was in the hands of authorities in the first place. School administrative matter makes more sense.

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