The Teachers Having Sex With Students Epidemic - Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen G. Rodriguez Weighs In

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Within the past month, a Los Angeles high school health teacher was arrested for having sex with an underage student and an Orange County high school band teacher was convicted for the same. According to Attorney Stephen G. Rodriguez, “The zero tolerance policy in today’s school system often results in a guilty until proven innocent situation for the teacher. Accused teachers, like any other criminal defendant, deserve a decent defense.”

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The zero tolerance policy in today’s school system often results in a guilty until proven innocent situation for the teacher. Accused teachers, like any other criminal defendant, deserve a decent defense.

On November 21, 2010, the Los Angeles Police arrested an eight year veteran of Hillcrest Christian School in Granada Hills for allegedly having sex with an underage student. He has been charged with multiple sex crimes. (San Fernando Superior Court, case Number PA069008) “Teachers who are accused of having sex with students are in an incredibly difficult situation,” according to Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Stephen G. Rodriguez, a frequent defender of individuals charged with sex crimes. “For most accused teachers, the arrest alone is a career-ender; but that is just the beginning of the suspect’s trouble.” The penalties in the California Penal code that apply to teachers convicted of having sex with minors are severe. Take Carlie Rose Attebury, a former Orange County band teacher, for example. She was arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old student and charged with a number of sex offenses, including unlawful sexual intercourse and lewd acts on child. (Orange County Superior Court, case number 08CF3103.) On November 24, 2010 she was convicted of several counts and now faces up to five years in prison. She will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

“Suspects should consult with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney the moment they become the target of such an investigation,” says Rodriguez. “There is a zero tolerance policy in today’s school system that eclipses common sense and leads to respected teachers becoming guilty until proven innocent.” Unfortunately, suspects can become their own worst enemies in these cases. The urge to avoid shame and embarrassment frequently leads suspects to attempt to talk their way out of trouble. But detectives anticipate this and play on it. In other cases, investigators convince the suspect that the allegation is a nuisance that can “go away” if the suspect cooperates. “A teacher being accused for having sex with a student should never talk to authorities without an attorney present,” according to Rodriquez. “If the authorities fail to get a statement from a defendant, there may not be enough evidence to bring criminal charges.” Frequently, the resolution of the case comes down to “he-said, she-said.” If the suspect is more believable than the victim, the jury is more likely to side with the suspect and render a defense verdict. In other words, giving incriminating statements to the police can sabotage an otherwise defensible case.

If you are being questioned about having sexual relations with a student, you are most likely going to be arrested. Your chances of talking your way out of being charged are virtually non-existent. At the Law Office of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associates, we appreciate the seriousness of the issues associated with these charges. We also understand that the only adequate defense is a knowledgeable and aggressive offense.

Contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen G. Rodriguez for a free and confidential consultation at (800) 788-8557 to discuss your options.

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