Should this teacher have gotten 10 years for having sex with a 15-year-old student?
08/13/2015 6:48 pm PDT
A former middle-school teacher was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Oklahoma for sex with one of her students, but had five years suspended. She will serve at least eight and a half years due to statutory minimum sentencing requirements.
Jennifer Caswell, 29, was arrested in Mississippi in a hotel room with a 15-year-old male former student in June 2014 while he was visiting his mother in that state.
Caswell had resigned from her teaching job months earlier in April when she came under suspicion of inappropriate contact with a student.
When she was arrested, she admitted to police to having sex with the boy several times, including in her classroom, in her house and in her car.
Caswell pleaded guilty on June 1 to three counts of second-degree rape, two counts of enticing a child and one count of forcible sodomy.
The Oklahoma judge in Caswell's case sentenced her to 15 years in prison for each of the six crimes, but the sentences will run at the same time.
In May, Caswell admitted to having sex with a student in an interview with television host Dr. Phil. She said she felt ignored by her husband, and was vulnerable to the boy's advances in her classroom after school one day.
Caswell will be required to register as a sex offender upon her release from prison.
Caswell is mother to a 6-year-old son from her husband.
Mary Kay Letourneau, a 34-year-old Seattle teacher convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old student in the 1990s, attracted nationwide attention when she served seven years in prison beginning 1998. Letourneau is now married to that former student and the couple has two children who were born in 1997 and 1998.