The student-teacher relationship often develops into more intense personal feelings, especially when the students are teens and dealing with raging hormones. In recent years, both male and female teachers have faced rape charges for engaging in sexual activity with students. A former middle school teacher in New York is also in this predicament.
A former student at Equality Charter School in Co-Op City in the Bronx has accused a former teacher of raping her. The girl, now 17 years old, was 15 when she began having sex with her teacher, now 32. The girl reported the situation to police, and officers arrested the man on the morning of October 13 at his home in Pelham Bay.
The relationship lasted from January 2016 to August 2017. The girl continued having sex with the teacher even after she graduated from the charter school, which has students from 6th to 8th grades. The alleged rape never occurred at the school. Instead, the two would have sex at the teacher's home.
The principal of the charter school was unaware of the sexual activity between the teacher and the student. The teacher had not taught at the school since the 2015-2016 school year ended. The man faces charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child.
What the Law Says
The charge of rape is outlined in New York State Law Section 130. There are three degrees of rape: first, second and third. Third-degree rape is a Class E felony punishable by four years in jail. This occurs when a person over the age of 21 has sex with someone under the age of 17.
Second-degree rape is a Class D felony, which comes with up to seven years of jail time. This occurs when a person over the age of 18 has sex with someone under the age of 15. First-degree rape is the most serious type of rape. It is considered a Class B felony punishable by 5-25 years in jail. It involves sex with children under the age of 13.
Under New York law, those under the age of 16 are not legally able to consent to sexual activity. When an adult has sex with someone under the age of 16, he or she can be convicted of statutory rape. A conviction can result in up to 15 years of jail time, as well as hefty fines exceeding $100,000. A person convicted of such a crime may also be placed on the sex offender registry for life.