Nationwide there has been a rise in the number of arrests and charges made against female teachers. Criminal charges involving sex crimes can have very complicated scenarios and any defendant will likely face severe penalties, including lifetime registry as a sex offender. Even in cases of consenting adults, sex crimes offenders can face a lifetime sentence that restricts where they can live and work. Where sex crimes have historically targeted male offenders, alleged female offenders are now up against the law in sex crimes involving minors.
According to an Alabama news source, one-third of sexually inappropriate cases investigated by Alabama education officials involved women. This leaves all of these alleged offenders vulnerable to serious criminal charges and penalties. OurBirmingham sex crimes defense lawyersunderstand the gravity of a sex crime charge. We are dedicated to handling sex crimes cases with sensitivity and discretion and will take every available opportunity to preserve the reputation and criminal background of our clients. Our firm also stays abreast of trends in criminal law that may shed light on the current statistics and trends in criminal law.
Though one could assume sex crimes by female offenders are on the rise, it is more likely that authorities, families, and communities want to punish alleged offenders. Authorities also point to social media as one source that has uncovered a number of sex crimes that otherwise would have gone unreported. In these cases, cell phones and social media networks make actions more public and also give students and teachers a forum to interact outside of the classroom.
A 2010 Alabama law made it a felony for a school employee to have sex with a student who is under the age of 19. Allegations in these cases can range in severity. Since this law went into effect, a number of high-profile cases have been waged against female teachers, ranging from sexting to rape. A teacher was recently convicted in a sexting allegations case for sending nude pictures via text messages to a 15-year-old student. The Alabama Department of Education reports that there were 150 cases of “inappropriate relationships” investigated between 2008 and 2013. These interactions are not limited to sexual intercourse, but also involve sexual or romantic communications.
In 2013, 66 percent of the cases involved male teachers and 34 percent of the complaints were against female teachers. Analysts say that the numbers are on the rise, but for unclear reasons. While it could be that more cases are reported under the 2010 law that criminalizes relationships, there may be other factors at stake, including social media and the urging of victims to come forward. All of these cases can involve misinterpretations, competing versions of the events, and complicated emotions.
Criminal cases waged against teachers can have a long-term and detrimental impact. In addition to a damaged reputation, teachers may have to serve prison time or turn in their teaching certificate. If you have been accused of a sex crime, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced advocate. Exploring your defense options may include defeating charges or reducing penalties.