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Why is this even a crime? If anything, she should've been fired from teaching, and possibly lost her license. But prison for consensual sex with an adult? Come on!
BENTONVILLE - A former Bentonville School District teacher has pled guilty to having sex with one of her students.
On Thursday, Melissa Monroe, 33, of Bella Vista, pled guilty to a charge of sexual assault in the second degree and two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor. She faced up to 20 years in prison. What she received was 120 days in prison, five years probation and registering as a sex offender.
Prosecuting attorney, Joni Rose, said the sentence was lighter than it could have been because the case was so unusual. The student involved is 18-years-old. However, even though he is an adult, under Arkansas law, it is a crime for a public-school teacher to engage in sexual contact with a student younger than 21.
Monroe's lawyer, Alan Lane, believes this is unconstitutional. "A private right and fundamental right -consensual sex between two adults is made criminal," said Lane. "This is not a situation in our opinion where Melissa used that position of trust or authority to coerce this young man."
However, Monroe did admit what she did was wrong and was sorry. Lane said she also understood fighting the charges could have been a lengthy process for her and her family. Monroe lives in Bella Vista with her husband and two children.
"I think at the end of the day she decided to do what's best for her family and keep that family unit together," said Lane. Lane said her punishment can't be measured in days or hours. "This is a woman who lost her reputation, lost trust, relationships, lost her career, in essence has been in her home isolated," said Lane.
However, Lane said they are satisfied with the sentence. According to Rose, the family of the student is also satisfied.
Monroe was arrested back in February when a co-worker reported the alleged relationship to the district. Monroe was fired a short time later. She will begin her prison term in August. She taught math at Bentonville for seven years.
Tags: sex, sexual, offender, issues, sex offender, sexual offender, female offender, teacher, consensual sex,
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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