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How Common Are Illegal Student-Teacher Relationships in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Tarrant County sex crimes defense attorney

The Texas Education Agency investigated more than 400 cases of alleged illegal student-teacher relationships during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Reports of inappropriate sexual and romantic relationships between students and teachers have risen dramatically in recent years in Texas. Many attribute this increase to the heightened awareness of illegal sex acts prompted by the #MeToo movement. Educators who are convicted of having an improper relationship with a student can lose their ability to teach, their reputation, and even their freedom. If you are a teacher or school employee who has been accused of having sexual relations with a student, speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

When Does a Teacher-Student Relationship Cross the Line?

Teachers spend a great deal of time with their students. Some pupils may actually see their teachers more often than they do their own friends and family. However, when a teacher-student relationship stops being professional and starts being sexual, this constitutes a criminal offense. According to the Texas Penal Code, it is against the law for a teacher, counselor, librarian, school administrator, or any other educator to engage in sexual contact with a student. Online solicitation of a student may also constitute an illegal student-teacher relationship. The age of consent in Texas is 17; however, a teacher may still be charged with a criminal offense if he or she has sexual contact with a student who is over the age of 17.

Criminal Penalties for an Improper Relationship With a Student

Having an inappropriate relationship with a student is a second-degree felony offense under Texas law. If you are convicted of having a sexual relationship with a student in Texas, you could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $10,000. You may also be required to register as a sex offender. In addition to criminal consequences, being convicted of an improper student-teacher relationship may result in punishments from the State Board of Education and the school district.

Contact a Plano, Texas Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Sexual contact between students and teachers is prohibited by law in Texas. If you are an educator who has been accused of engaging in a sex act with a student, you could face many years in prison. It is imperative that you begin planning a strong defense against these allegations as soon as possible. For help defending against an accusation of an improper student-teacher relationship, contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. Attorney Darlina Crowder has successfully obtained hundreds of acquittals and not guilty verdicts for her clients. Call our office today at 214-303-9600 to schedule your free, confidential consultation with a highly accomplished Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.

 

Sources:
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2018/11/29/cases-of-improper-student-teacher-relationships-on-the-rise-after-passage-of-state-law-cracks-down-on-educator-misconduct/
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/PE/htm/PE.21.htm

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