An Oregon teacher has recently accepted a plea deal that resulted in prosecutors dropping felony charges against her. In this case, prosecutors claim that the 37-year-old high school teacher had inappropriate sexual relations with a 17-year-old student. Since the student was underage at the time of the sexual contact, the teacher was charged with several felony sex crimes. According to police, another teacher reported the sexual activity.
Instead of fighting the felony charges through the criminal courts, the teacher negotiated a plea agreement with prosecutors. In a plea agreement, prosecutors are often willing to allow a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for quick resolution of the case and dropping more serious charges. Plea deals usually result in fewer penalties for defendants.
In this plea deal, the teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual delinquency of a minor. As a result of the deal, all of the felony charges against the teacher were dropped by the prosecution. Because the woman pleaded guilty to criminal charges, she does still have to face criminal penalties. Her sentencing included 60 days of electronic monitoring and three years' probation. Furthermore, this teacher will have to register as a sex offender in the state of Oregon.
As is seen in this case, penalties for sex crimes are serious. Had the felonies not been dropped from this case, it is likely the penalties would have been even more severe and included jail or prison time. In many cases, those found guilty of a sex crime will be forced to register as a sex offender. When someone is placed on the sex offender registry, the public is notified of their criminal history as well as their current residence. Furthermore, those placed on a sex offender registry often face restrictions about where they can live, work and socialize.
Source: The Oregonian, "Ex-Molalla High teacher sentenced in sex case involving teen: Clackamas County Roundup," Jan. 3, 2013