Teacher gets 10-year sentence for sex with 15-year-old student
Jennifer Caswell, a 29-year-old teacher from Oklahoma, admitted to having sex with the 15-year-old boy but claimed she didn't take advantage of him.
However, the judge ruled this week that she should spend 10 years behind bars, a sentence that left her legal team stunned.
Caswell, who was known by her married name Jennifer Saxton at the time of the offences, was a middle school teacher in Oklahoma.
She pleaded guilty in June to second-degree rape and other related charges, one year after the incidents were discovered.
In an interview on US TV in May, Caswell explained her side of the story.
On the Dr Phil show she said of the time they had sex in the classroom:
'He came in, I was working on things, he kept coming closer to me and I would kind of walk away to the other part, you know another room, another areas of the classroom and he just walked up to me and then he kissed me. And then it just kind of went from there.'
'I was walking around the classroom straightening up the desks and he came and I guess it was standing up,' Caswell said.
'I kept on saying, ''No you know we can’t do this. No, no, no.''
'He wasn't forcing me, I mean, I couldn't easily just walked out of my classroom, but I didn't.
'But I was resisting because I knew it was wrong, but I didn't.'
Caswell blamed her decision to begin the relationship with the boy on her failing marriage with her now ex husband and she admitted to being flattered by the attention.
After she resigned from her job in April 2014, the two continued to meet, having sex in a vehicle, her house and the boy's father's house. It was only when she drove 650 miles to Mississippi to see the boy, who had been sent there by his father to stay with his mother, that the teenager decided to co-operate with authorities.
In all, she was found guilty of six charges of second-degree rape, and was sentenced to 15 years, five suspended on each, to run concurrently.
'I can’t say that we had ever considered it being that harsh,' Caswell's attorney, David Cummins, said after the verdict.
Caswell, who has a six-year-old son, will be eligible for parole after eight-and-a-half years.