ST. GEORGE A former Hurricane High School teacher was sentenced to a month in jail and 36 months probation Thursday for having sex with a 17-year-old student.
Cris Lynn Morris, 30, was sentenced by 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham to three prison terms of zero to five years behind bars, but the judge suspended the prison stay. Instead, he ordered Morris to serve a month in the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Washington County.
Morris attorney Daniel McKay said the judge considered several mitigating circumstances when preparing the sentence. Among these were many written character references from people who have known the woman for a long time and under various circumstances. In addition, she is the mother of three young children and now has a full-time bookkeeping job.
McKay also said his client is "tremendously" sorry for what she did.
"She is very remorseful and deeply pained by the trauma and anxiety and turmoil this has caused, and the impact it has had on her family and the victim," he said. "She is at peace with the judge's decision and is looking forward to putting this behind her for herself and her family, as well as the victim and his family."
Morris, a former track coach at the school, pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, all third-degree felonies, as part of a plea bargain. Originally, she was charged with five counts of first-degree felony rape.