Former Teacher Gets 38 Years for Having Sex With Student

Dec 12, 2013 by

Calling her “a parent’s worst nightmare,” a judge sentenced former Hillsborough County schoolteacher Ethel Anderson to 38 years in prison Monday for performing oral sex and other lewd acts on a 12-year-old boy she tutored on weekends.

Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe’s severe punishment of Anderson seemed designed to send a message in a county that has attracted disproportionate attention for sex scandals involving female educators. The most notorious of them, Debra Lafave, managed to avoid incarceration completely after pleading guilty to sex with a 14-year-old boy.

“There are those that believe that nothing’s wrong if the defendant is a woman and the victim is a male,” Tharpe said Monday. “This court does not recognize gender. If it’s proven, as an adult, that you had sex with a child, you can expect to go to prison.”

Anderson’s attorney, Bill Knight, was visibly flummoxed after his client’s sentence was handed down. He said Anderson would be filing an appeal but declined to talk about Tharpe’s decision. “At the risk of speaking indelicately about a number of subjects, I will not be commenting,” he said.

Anderson, 31, invoked her young daughter while begging Tharpe for mercy before her sentencing. The girl would be about 44 years old at the time of her mother’s release if Anderson serves her full sentence.

The male victim in the case was present at the sentencing, along with his mother, who said she was satisfied with Anderson’s punishment. “I just left it to God and the judge, and they took care of it,” she said.

In a letter to the court, the victim’s mother said her son’s “innocence is lost forever,” and he had felt obligated to change schools because of the episode.

via Former Teacher Gets 38 Years for Having Sex With Student | TheLedger.com.

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