Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.
Free ConsultationAll calls answered 24/75 convenient locations
Click Here To Call Now
215-392-4217 Local
800-724-2323 Toll free
to Our Offices
Toggle Menu Email Contact
Toggle View Our Practice Areas

PA female teacher charged with sex abuse despite student's age

In certain cases, it is not always easy to define whether sex between two people was truly consensual. In cases of adults having sex with minors, the law makes clear that minors below a certain age cannot legally give consent. In most of the U.S. the age of consent is between 16 and 18 years old.

But even if someone has reached the legal age of adulthood, the issue of consent is murky when that 18-year-old has sex with another adult who may be in a position of authority such as a teacher. Pennsylvania readers have no doubt heard news reports about the 31-year-old female teacher who recently resigned and now faces criminal charges after allegedly having sex with a high school student. He was 18 at the time, but the teacher has nonetheless been charged with institutional sexual assault.

The teacher and the student were allegedly in private contact for about two months, and shared racy cellphone pictures and texts. They also allegedly engaged in sexual activities in a classroom during after-school hours.

In 2012, Pennsylvania laws regarding sex between teachers and students were amended. The change made the age of the student irrelevant in such cases.

Public reaction to this scandal will likely be mixed. There are some who argue that the student was not a victim of sexual abuse because he is legally an adult and could therefore consent to have sex. But consider the fact that the young man is still a student, and was “consenting” to sex with a considerably older adult who was also an authority figure.

It would likely be difficult – even for the student – to sort out how much of his decision was true consent and how much was influenced by the teacher and her position of authority.

Even if this case does spark some debate, the problem of teacher sexual abuse and misconduct is far too common in Pennsylvania. Commenting on the case, the county’s district attorney said: “Frankly, we've had too many of these cases involving school employees."

Source: Penn Live, "'We've had too many of these cases,' DA says of Cumberland Valley teacher-student sex case," Jeffrey A. Johnson, March 14, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Philadelphia Office
1525 Locust Street
8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 800-724-2323
Phone: 215-392-4217
Fax: 215-732-2289
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Reading Office
38 N 6th Street
Reading, PA 19601

Phone: 215-392-4217
Reading Law Office Map

Allentown Office
612 Hamilton Street
The Trifecta Building
2nd Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

Phone: 215-392-4217
Allentown Law Office Map

Lancaster Office
8 North Queen Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 215-392-4217
Lancaster Law Office Map

Cherry Hill Office
457 Haddonfield Rd, Suite 540
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone: 215-392-4217
Cherry Hill Law Office Map