One of the basic values of our criminal justice system is that an accused is innocent unless and until proven guilty. That rule, however, does not always function to protect the accused. For example, when a teacher in a Louisiana public school is arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with a student who is a minor, the grave emotional impact on the school and the community associated with such sex crime charges can outweigh the time-honored principle of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
A 27-year-old female high school teacher in the Louisiana public schools apparently learned that harsh reality and decided that she could not keep teaching while criminal proceedings are waged against her for sex crimes. She was freed on bail recently after being arrested on 11 charges related to having sex with one of her students. The charges include six counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
The Tioga High School English teacher appeared at a Rapides Parish School District meeting this past week and tendered her resignation. This was done despite there being no preliminary hearing or judicial determination of guilt. Reports of the case reveal none of the details of the charges. It appears that the woman had a sexual relationship with one student. School board authorities refused to comment except to state that the Rapides Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the alleged sex crimes.
When arrested in Louisiana or elsewhere in the country on sex crime charges of this nature, the accused will likely benefit by getting early professional assistance. A thorough investigation is usually beneficial in evaluating the strength of the case and may influence a decision on whether to resign. In some instances, there may be defenses or weaknesses in the evidence – charges may be unjustified or untenable, witnesses may fail to cooperate with authorities or there might be important extenuating circumstances.
Source: thetowntalk.com, “Tioga High teacher facing sex charges resigns from Rapides school district,” Leigh Guidry, Feb. 5, 2013