You might have seen the image as it went viral a few days ago: a high school teacher with a big smile on her face, looking into the camera taking her mugshot. The anatomy and physiology teacher had been arrested on allegations that she had sex with a 17-year-old student.
While many found her ear-to-ear grin inappropriate, the reaction of a Florida teacher to similar charges might well be more damaging. The art teacher reportedly confessed to police that she had engaged in sex with a 17-year-old male student. Such an admission is an invaluable asset for a prosecutor.
The 34-year-old Hernando County art teacher lives about three hours north of Fort Myers. She was charged a few days ago with unlawful sexual activity with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In addition to the very serious sex crime allegation, she is also accused of consuming alcohol and marijuana with the teen.
Law enforcement officials said that both the teacher and teenager said they had had multiple consensual sexual encounters at the woman's home.
A Hernando County Sheriff's office spokesperson said, "He’s not old enough to consent to a relationship like that."
The school system that employs the teacher said she has been suspended with pay pending the resolution of the case.
Though the Florida teacher's expression in her mugshot did not go viral, her reported confession can make the job of a criminal defense attorney much more difficult. Virtually all legal experts agree that suspects should speak first with a lawyer before discussing charges or evidence with police or prosecutors.
In that way, your rights can be protected until your options are being examined.