I've been defending teachers related to sex crimes in Los Angeles for the past twenty-five years. Unfortunately, this is a crime that is taken very seriously by the authorities because any teacher who is having any sexual contact with their students who is in a position of trust is seen as a danger to the student and will typically be treated harshly by the prosecutors and judge.
Of course, there's always another side to the story that needs to be told to make sure that the teacher is defended properly or damage control can be done to salvage the many rights that are potentially at stake when it comes to a teacher-student relationship in Los Angeles.
The authorities will typically first interview all potential witnesses before approaching the teacher. They will go to the student with whom the teacher is alleging having sexual relationships and get as much information from them as possible.
They will then interview classmates or anybody else who might possess any information related to the illegal relationship. They can also subpoena records such as phone records and other records that might be relevant to prove a link in a chain of criminal offenses.
The next thing they will do once they have all that information is that they'll often do what's called a pretext phone call where the student or someone else will call the teacher.
It could be the student's parents. The police will listen, give questions to whoever the caller is, tape record everything, and ask pointed specific questions about the sexual contact between the student and the teacher.
They will be hoping for the teacher to either admit that they were involved in some sexual relationship with the student, which would be compelling evidence against that teacher, or deny something that they can later prove to be true to show that the teacher is not telling the truth and is trying to hide the illegal relationship. Then they will use that evidence to prosecute the teacher for whatever sex crime they believe they've committed.
Legal Defenses to School Teacher-Student Sexual Relations
One defense is that teacher did not have any sexual contact with the student. The key is that no adult, whether a teacher or not, can have any sexual contact with someone under the age of eighteen.
So, suppose the teacher can show that they had no sexual contact or, on the flip side. In that case, the prosecutors do not have the evidence to prove there was any sexual contact between a teacher and student – even though there might be a suspicion of that – there may be some evidence of some inappropriate communications, without being able to prove that there was some sexual relationship between the student and the teacher, there will not be criminal charges against that particular teacher.
So, moving forward, I have the teacher come into the office. In privacy, we discuss the situation. I encourage all potential clients – especially teachers and those who are potentially looking at sex crime charges – to be honest with me.
Please give me all the complete information without putting any spin on anything, and then we can get down to the nitty-gritty of deciding exactly how to defend the case, what we both can do to get the best possible result.
Whether the case should go to trial or whether there should be some negotiation, or maybe there's some evidence the prosecutors don't have because the police did not do a thorough investigation. We need to present that to the prosecutors.
We will investigate it and get the evidence necessary to show that they do not have the proper information to prosecute you for a sex crime.
These cases are horrifying because a teacher is in a position of trust. There's potential sex registration involved, possible jail or prison time, probation, all sorts of different things that the prosecutors and judge can utilize to punish somebody and deter them from becoming involved with students in the future, or anyone under the age of eighteen.
This is why it's so essential to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with these cases, who's been down this road before, and knows what it takes to defend a sex crime case properly. Contact us for a free case evaluation.