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Charges over inappropriate student-teacher relationship dropped

A South Carolina teacher who was facing allegations of sexual battery of a student recently had the charges against her dropped. Authorities have refused to comment on the reason why they are no longer seeking a conviction. The student against whom the female teacher had allegedly committed the sex crime was somewhere between 16 and 17 years of age. There was no accusation of force or coercion by the teacher.

In South Carolina, one can legally consent to sex at the age of 16. However, a law passed in 2010 made teacher-student sexual relationships illegal. Violating that law can still count as a sex crime and result in jail time. Here, the teacher had faced up to five years in prison.

The then 23-year-old reportedly sent over 700 text messages to the student over a matter of days. The two were also said to have been seen holding hands, eating breakfast with one another at a local restaurant and driving around together in the teacher's car. As any legal defense attorney would point out, these things alone are not generally enough to convict a person of a sex crime, though the contents of text messages could incriminate a person.

Supposedly the teacher also admitted that she and the student had a relationship, but it is not apparent how far that relationship actually went or how long it had been going on. The student's parents apparently knew about the relationship but did not desire that the state take legal action.

Whether the allegations were false or true, they undoubtedly did severe damage to her personal and professional life. The teacher resigned at the end of the 2011 school year and turned herself into the local sheriff's office the next day. She started at the high school in 2009, and taught Spanish and coached swimming.

Source: GoUpstate.com, "Sex charge against Boiling Springs High School teacher dropped," Kim Kimzey, Jan. 2, 2013

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