Teacher Sentenced to Probation for Statutory Rape; How Come?
A New York social studies teacher has been sentenced to 10 years of probation after performing oral sex on a 14-year-old. If this doesn't seem like a harsh enough punishment, you would be correct. Dori Meyers, a now-former teacher at the The New School of Leadership and The Arts in The Bronx, won't spend a single day behind bars and even gets to keep her teaching license. The prosecutors of the case argued that she should spend two years in jail, but her defense attorney argued that she should still be able to teach.
"There is a possibility that she could teach adults now or in the future and we want to preserve that possibility," Andrew Stoll told the court last month. "She still is a talented teacher and has those skills, and I don't see any reason to destroy her ability to make a living and to contribute to society in a positive way."
It may be worth noting that her husband is a Rockland County Sheriff’s deputy.
She will have to register as a level one sex offender as part of her punishment, but this conviction shows not only the double standard when it comes to male or female sexual abusers, but also, the intense protection of teachers when it comes to legal matters.
In cases in Jacksonville, Florida from January 2012 to July 2015, there were 10 male and female teachers who were accused of having sex with their students during that three-and-a-half-year time period. Only two teachers received a lengthy jail sentence. In 2012, Duval County elementary school teacher Christopher Bacca received a 40-year sentence for having sex with young male students. Michael Worrell who worked at three Duval County schools over his nine-year teaching career was sentenced to life behind bars for molesting two young girls between the ages of 9 and 13.
In two other cases, the victims wouldn't cooperate with investigators. As a result, two Westside high school teachers walked free. As for the remaining six, they all took plea deals and ended up facing lesser charges like child abuse or battery.
For more examples, Atlantic Coast High School teacher Danielle Reed and St. Johns County High School teacher Stacy Slamka both accepted plea deals and never served prison time for having sex with teenage boys. Clay County elementary school teacher Kimberly Brody served only one year in jail for having sex with a 16-year-old in 2013.
New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper, which studied cases between 2003 and 2013, concluded that male teachers receive more stringent legal punishments than females. Male defendants in the Garden State were sent to prison in 54 percent of cases compared to 44 percent of cases involving female defendants, men averaged 2.4 years behind bars while women averaged 1.6 years in lock-up for the same offense. Furthermore, out of the 97 cases followed over the decade, the longest sentence given to a female was seven years while the longest handed to a male was ten, although both cases entailed multiple relationships.
Legal experts are beginning to speak out about a double standard regarding how courts treat males versus female statutory rapists.
“Men fall into the usual stereotype of somehow believing a teenage male student probably enjoyed a sexual relationship with his adult teacher. Male teachers are always labeled as predators by the public,” Steve Albrecht, a Colorado-based threat assessment and school violence expert, told Fox News. “Female teachers are often mischaracterized as immature, confused or even vulnerable – even though they are just as predatory in their selection and grooming behavior to seduce that child.”
In 2011 the Denver Post found that females convicted for sexually abusing minors in their care, in the state of Colorado, are also far less likely to be jailed for their crimes. Of the 2,128 men convicted of sexual assault on a child in their responsibility from 2006 to 2010, more than half were sent to prison. By comparison, 79 women were convicted of the same crime during that time, but only 38 percent imprisoned.
Teachers have a unique position of power and influence over the kids they work with.
A mandatory minimum sentence for statutory rape may be worth considering to keep these criminals from walking free and abusing other children.
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