Sarah Lewis a Utah teacher who taped having sex with a teen after plying with him alcohol is released from jail cause of loop-hole. Right decision?
Sarah Lewis a former Utah teacher who admitted to having sex with a 17 year old male student was released from jail on Wednesday thanks to a state loophole.
The woman’s release comes after the 27 year old woman was arrested earlier this year after accusations of plying the teen boy with vodka and videotaped having sex with him.
In June, the dance and social studies teacher at Landmark High school, in Spanish Fork, pleaded guilty to forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree penalty which holds a possible sentence of one to 15 years, reported KUTV.
However, Lewis’s lawyer, Tom Means, filed a motion to dismiss her guilty plea in July after coming across an amended statute in Utah Code that could have reduced her original rape charge even more.
The statute, which was amended in 2014, states ‘if a minor is 16 or 17 years old, the rape charge can be reduced to Unlawful Sexual Conduct, when applied to a person who holds a relationship of special trust: such as an adult teacher, employee, or volunteer’.
Lewis’s charges were downgraded from a first-degree rape felony to the third-degree felony of unlawful sexual conduct.
After spending 195 days in jail, she was released with no further jail time reported the dailymail.
‘Because I was unaware of the amendment…until after Ms Lewis offered her plea I did not advise her of this change in the law that affected the degree of the offense to which she pled,’ Means said, according to the Daily Herald.
Lewis has also been given three years’ probation. As a condition, she must register on the sex offender registry, obtain a psychosexual evaluation and complete recommended treatment.
Lewis is also prohibited from having contact with former students.
The probation conditions also state Lewis may not have any contact ‘with students of hers outside of school,’ despite Lewis is no longer employed with Nebo School District, said Lana Hiskey, spokeswoman for the District.
One defense lawyer said the amendment is no loophole.
‘I don’t consider this a loophole,’ Stephen Allred, a defense attorney with Zabriskie Law Firm.
‘These 16 and 17 year olds do have a choice, and they have chosen to engage in this,’ he said, adding that legislators amended the law to, ‘take the teacher portion out of the equation’.
What do you think? Despite Lewis abusing her position of authority and trust shouldn’t the teacher be held to a higher level of trust, regardless of the age of the victim? Or can one argue a child, even at the age of 16 or 17 knows enough that he is being subjugated and is able to make an ‘informed’ opinion as to relations with their teacher?
Or to put in another way, would state regulators have allowed the ‘loophole’ as a bona fide reason to exonerate the teacher’s behavior had the genders been reversed? Which is to imply that men are only sexual aggressors and sexual predators, notwithstanding the many incidents of predatory behavior at the hands of female teachers….