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 serious by the authorities because any teacher who is having any type of 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 in order to make sure that the teacher is either defended properly or damage control can be done in order 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 who the teacher is alleging having sexual relationships with, get as much information from them as they can.
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 in order to prove a link in a chain of criminal offenses.
The next thing they will do once they have all that information – a lot of times they'll either do what's called a pretext phone call where the student or someone else will call the teacher.
It could be the parents of the student, and basically the police will be listening, giving questions to whoever the caller is, tape recording everything and asking pointed specific questions about the sexual contact between the student and the teacher.
They will obviously be hoping for the teacher to either admit that they were involved in some sort of a sexual relationship with the student which would be very powerful 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 and then they will use that evidence in order to prosecute the teacher for whatever sex crime they believe they've committed.
Legal Defenses to School Teacher-Student Sexual Relations
One defense, obviously, 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 type of sexual contact with someone who is under the age of eighteen.
So, if the teacher can show that they had no sexual contact or, on the flip side, the prosecutors simply 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 sort of sexual relationship between the student and the teacher, there will not be criminal charges against that particular teacher.
So, moving forward what I do is I have the teacher come into the office. In privacy, we discuss the situation. Obviously, I encourage all potential clients – especially those who are teachers and who are potentially looking at sex crime charges – to be honest with me.
Give me all the complete information without putting any spin on anything, an then we can really get down to the nitty-gritty of deciding exactly how to defend the case, what we both can do in order to get the best possible result.
Whether the case should go to trial or whether there should be some sort of a negotiation, or maybe there's some evidence the prosecutors don't have because the police did not do a thorough investigation and we need to present that to the prosecutors.
We will go about investigating it and getting the evidence necessary in order to show that they do not have the proper information in order to prosecute you for a sex crime.
These types of cases are very scary because a teacher is in a position of trust. There's potential sex registration involved, potential jail or prison time, probation, all sorts of different things can be utilized by the prosecutors and judge in order to punish somebody and deter them from becoming involved with students in the future, or anyone who is under the age of eighteen.
This is why it's so important 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 properly defend a sex crime case. Contact us for a free case evaluation.