In a brilliant legal shenanigan, a teacher who faced rape charges for having sex with one of her pupils has escaped a possible 15 year prison sentence by divorcing her husband and marrying her victim.
The female teacher, now 42, pursued a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy at her North Carolina school. When her antics came to light, authorities charged her with statutory rape as the boy was a minor, charges carrying a possible 15 year sentence.
She somehow devised the scheme of marrying the boy, preventing him from being compelled to testify against her in court and causing the case against her to collapse.
North Carolina law contains the provision that the spouse of a defendant cannot be compelled to testify against them, preventing authorities from forcing the boy to testify against her and invalidating any previous testimony he gave police.
In aid of this, she divorced her existing husband (with whom she was married when she started her underage tryst) and 6 days later married the boy.
The boy, still a minor at the time of his marriage, could only consent to marriage with the permission of a parent, which his mother obligingly gave.
One of the local district attorneys was relatively gracious in accepting the loss of a juicy chance to inflict a massive prison sentence on a wicked sexual predator:
“None of the statements made in this case would be admissible without the victim. The defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against them.”
Unsurprisingly, the teacher still end up losing both her post and license, although the only legal repercussion from her antics was a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest stemming from her original arrest, which resulted in a 30 day suspended sentence.
It was only through this trial that the full details of her devious escape were made public – along with the obligatory (and presumably unflattering) police mugshot: