A 25-year-old choir teacher has been arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a student.
The woman, who teaches at Lynnwood High School, was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after district officials became aware of allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a student when he was 16. The student is now 17. While the teacher was on leave, she was arrested at her home by Snohomish County Sheriff's deputies.
After district officials learned of the alleged misconduct, they reported the teacher to the sheriff's department. Detectives from the department's Special Investigations Unit conducted the inquiry.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been victims of sexual assault. More than 35 percent of the assaults occur when the victims are between the ages of 12 and 17.
The Lynnwood teacher was booked into jail and faces a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree.
A person is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree when:
- The perpetrator is at least five years older than the victim, is in a significant relationship to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship in order to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim; or
- The person is a school employee at least five years older than the victim and has sexual intercourse with an enrolled student of the school who is at least 16 years old and not married to the employee; or
- The person is a foster parent who has sex with his or her foster child who is at least 16 years old.
Sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
The definition of sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree is essentially the same as a first-degree charge except the victim is at least 16 years old, but less than 18 years old. A conviction on second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Although the percentage of women who commit sex crimes is very low, it is likely under-reported. Boys are not socialized to report such victimization and girls find it hard to convince others they have been sexually abused by another female.
However, when women are convicted of sex crimes, they have “extremely low” rates of recidivism -- less than 3 percent -- once they are released, compared to male sex offenders -- about 14 percent reoffend after five years, 24 percent reoffend after 15 years.
Recidivism refers to a person's relapse into criminal behavior. It is measured by criminal acts that resulted in rearrest, reconviction or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner's release.
Everyone charged with a crime, regardless of the circumstances, is entitled to a good defense. If you are facing criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.