A Maryland man has been sentenced to an 18-month jail term after he reportedly engaged in sexual activity with a minor. The 25-year-old man had been a substitute teacher at Westlake High School when the reported sexual abuse occurred. The defendant pleaded guilty to several counts of third-degree sex offense. He will be required to serve 18 months in custody in addition to registering as a Tier II sex offender for a 25-year span.
Authorities say that the man was accused of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl. Although it appears that the sex may have been consensual, it is impossible for someone so young to legally consent to such activities. Attorneys in the case accused the defendant of plying the girl with alcohol and attempting to "groom" her into an ongoing partner for sexual relations. Incriminating text messages to that effect eventually surfaced in court. However, defense lawyers say the youngster had been drinking alcohol long before she met the teacher.
The defendant has expressed remorse for the allegations of child sexual abuse, saying that he was wrong to allow this type of activity to occur. The man contends that he never intended to harm anyone, especially such a young girl. He admits that he made a bad decision, though he also argued that the girl had been the one to initiate the relationship.
The defendant in this case received a modest jail sentence, though he will be required to register as a sex offender for a significant amount of time. Such defendants in sexual abuse cases may feel as though all is lost, though that is not necessarily the case. Using legal maneuvers such as a guilty plea or even proceeding to trial may increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for those facing allegations of child sexual abuse.
Source: Gazette.net, "Substitute teacher to serve 18 months for sex abuse of student" Lindsay Renner, Jul. 09, 2014