In January, we posted a story about a Colorado teaching coach and her serious legal battle. The 31-year-old female defendant was charged with various crimes, including sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, sex assault with more than a 10-year age difference and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sex assault charges involving a child are extremely serious, threatening to both a suspect's freedom and overall future. In this case, it looks like the criminal prosecution could have been much worse. Colorado sources report that parties have agreed to a plea deal, a deal which could keep the defendant (a mother and wife) out of jail.
Early this year, the defendant was found in a car, in an intimate moment, with a 16-year-old student from the school where she worked. The incident ignited intense emotions from many in the community, as is true for most cases similar to this one.
In a photo included in The Coloradoan, the defendant is seen smiling with her criminal defense attorney. She is likely relieved that a plea deal was arranged in which most charges against her have been dropped. Instead of facing any of the above-mentioned charges, the defendant now only faces a charge of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, to which she has pleaded guilty.
Her guilty plea means that she will serve 10 years of sex offender probation. She might not be completely free from jail time, as a judge could decide to add jail time to the probation sentence in a scheduled May 9 hearing. The defendant has no criminal history, and a judge will likely consider that fact when determining whether jail time is appropriate
While jail time would be a serious consequence, another life-changing aspect of the defendant's sentence is that she has to register as a sex offender. That requirement will significantly affect her professional future, especially being that she works in the education field.
We will continue to post updates about this case as new details become available.
The Coloradoan: "Former Loveland teacher pleads guilty in sex case with teenage boy," 29 Mar. 2011