Fort Lauderdale Sex Crimes Lawyers :: Former Broward Teacher Accused of Having Sex with her Student Agrees to Prison Time to Avoid Label as Sexual Predator

Whittel & Melton, LLC 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crime Attorneys

A former Broward County teacher accused of engaging in sex with a middle school student multiple times accepted a plea deal on Dec. 19 that would allow her to avoid sexual predator status.

She will serve three years in prison, followed by five years of probation in exchange for a clear sex offender status.

Broward prosecutors offered the 27-year-old ex-teacher two options: avoid prison time and keep the stigmatizing label or spend time behind bars and forget about the sex offender status.

The former teacher was arrested in April 2010 after a middle school student told police he supposedly had a sexual relationship with the teacher for almost a year. The relationship was allegedly revealed after the boy’s girlfriend found text messages from the teacher on his cellphone, which was apparently a gift from the teacher for his 14th birthday.

She was formally charged with two counts of sexual battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 17 by a person with custodial authority and two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on victim between the ages of 12 and 16. She was eventually released on a $75,000 bond.

Police reports indicate the teacher and student first met at the beginning of 2009 after the boy was transferred into her computer class. Their sexual relationship allegedly began in May 2009.

On April 19, 2010 police monitored a phone call between the student and teacher that supposedly confirmed suspicions the pair had a sexual relationship. The woman was arrested the following day.

On May 13, 2010, the woman resigned from her position with the Broward School District.

Sexual battery on a child over the age of 12, but under the age of 18 by a person in custodial authority addresses sexual battery offenses committed by family members or other adults in an authoritative role on minors. Because this offense involves minors, consent cannot play a factor in the defense. Florida law regards sex with a minor as unlawful, despite whether the juvenile consented to the sexual act in question. It is important to note that a person in custodial authority can include day care operators,  teachers, athletic coaches, babysitters, guidance counselors, etc. The relationship between the adult and supposed victim will determine whether or not the accused qualifies as having custodial authority over a minor. Facts unique to the case can also define how the accused can be classified.

Sexual battery involving a child is a serious allegation and a conviction carries severe and life-long penalties. Following a conviction of a sexual battery offense on a child in Florida, you will be required to register as a sex predator with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This status will follow you even if you move out of state and it is extremely difficult to remove your name from this list once you have been found guilty of a crime that falls under the Florida Sexual Predators Act. As a registered sexual predator, residents in the area you live will be notified of your name, address, provided a photo describing your appearance along with a detailed explanation of your crime. Those labeled as a sexual predator are banned from working with children and local police will notify your neighborhood, local schools and day care facilities of your presence.

Due to the momentousness effects of a child sex crime conviction, it is vital to understand your legal options. The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can explain how you can fight any sexually motivated crimes that fall under the Florida Sexual Predators Act.

If you have been accused of a child sex crime or are facing a punishable offense under the Florida Sexual Predators Act, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or dial us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).