A former teacher's aide and cheerleading coach has pleaded guilty to charges that she gave birth to the child of a 17-year-old student.
D.C. criminal defense lawyers understand that while there may have been no actual force involved in the encounters, the teen's age, coupled with the fact that the woman was a person in a position of authority, makes the sexual contact a crime. Specifically, she has pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student.
For this, she faces up to 1 year in jail and a requirement to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years.
Not every instance of consensual sexual contact between an adult over the age of 18 is considered a crime. Generally, if the adult is at least four years older than the minor or if he or she is in a position of authority over the minor, sexual contact can be considered criminal.
However, if the minor is under the age of 16 and particularly if he or she is under the age of 12, it is held that he or she is not able to consent to sexual contact with an adult under any circumstance.
These are cases for which you must have an experienced criminal defense lawyer advocating for you. Although in this case, the defendant faces up to a year in jail, sometimes the penalties can be much harsher, depending on the circumstances.
According to the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office, the 30-year-old worked as a teacher's aide and youth program supervisor. This was reportedly how she met the minor, who was 17-years-old at the time and was a student at a different school.
Their relationship reportedly began back in the late summer of 2010, shortly after the student's participation in the program the defendant was supervising had ended. The relationship reportedly continued through the spring of last year.
The defendant reportedly attended the teen's basketball games, picked him up from school, took him out to dinner and showered him with gifts such as clothing and shoes.
The prosecutors contended that the defendant urged the teen not to tell anyone about their relationship until after he turned 18. The encounters occurred, she told investigators, almost every day, mostly at her residence but in some cases at his home.
Throughout the course of their relationship, the woman reportedly became pregnant on two occasions. It's not clear what happened with the pregnancy during the first instance, but in the second instance, she carried the child to term and gave birth. In both instances, she informed the teen that he was the father. The teen reportedly tried to end the relationship before she became pregnant a second time, though he continued to engage in a sexual relationship with her.
After the child was born, a biological test confirmed the child was fathered by the teen.
She was subsequently arrested last month.
The plea deal comes relatively quickly after the arrest. Many sexual assault or sexual abuse cases can take months, if not longer, to resolve. If this case had gone to trial, it almost certainly would have taken at least that long.
However, the defense was likely eager to negotiate a plea deal, as a conviction was probable, given the DNA proof from the child that the two had engaged in a sexual relationship. Had the case gone to trial, she might have faced up to 10 years behind bars.
Judges and prosecutors tend to be more lenient in cases where the alleged victim was older and the encounters were consensual, but the penalties can still be severe, and the requirement to register as a sex offender can haunt you well into the future.
Don't leave your case to chance.
Continue reading "Former Aide, Cheerleader, Pleads Guilty to D.C. Sex Crime Involving Minor" »