Teachers are put in a unique position when it comes to caring for children. They are authority figures but also mentors, with the goal of imparting knowledge on young minds that will aid them later in their pursuits in life. They can be confidantes, counselors, and educators, and sometimes, owing to the close relationship teachers can develop with their students, they can become much more. In a positive sense, this means that they become role models or idols, someone who makes learning not only fun and interesting but also of vital importance. In the negative sense, they can become lovers and r*pists, abusing their power and authority and preying on vulnerable children.
That is the case for these 15 situations discussed here. Rather than providing a safe and stable environment for children and adolescents, these teachers used their position to seduce and entrap their students into an illicit affair that put minors in scenarios that were far too adult for them. Some were repeat offenders while some were once bitten, twice shy. All of them were adults who blurred the lines between what was appropriate and what was not, and all of them are just a sampling of some of the most disturbing student-teacher affairs that happen with shocking regularity.
15. Traci Tapp
Considered attractive and outgoing (and described as such in an article by Rolling Stone), Traci Tapp was a gym teacher in New Jersey when she began a relationship with a 15-year-old student at the age of 26 in 2003. The thing is, Tapp’s relationship with wrestling student Jason Eickmeyer wasn’t her first. In 2001, Tapp had begun living with one student, Fred Long, after his graduation–something she also promised Eickmeyer. She was also accused of s*xual touching by two other students.
Eickmeyer said his affair with Tapp was complicated and that, as a high school sophomore, he was in love with the popular gym teacher. Eickmeyer stated that the two talked about having children together. He said that the relationship was so well-known among the school that teachers as well as students knew what was going on with him and Tapp…and did nothing. Claims of a double standard were raised, with Eickmeyer stating that three years of his life were taken away due to the affair. Justice wasn’t served, he said, because Tapp only received a ban from teaching in New Jersey and a $225 fine.
14. Amy & Justin Northcutt
It’s nasty when any teacher seduces a student, but what about a husband and wife teaching duo who team up to target a student at the school where they both work? Amy Northcutt and husband Justin both worked at the same Christian school in California when they began sending lewd text messages to a 16-year-old female student with the goal of arranging group s*x between the three of them. While Amy was the girl’s history teacher, Justin was a substitute who was frequently assigned to the girl’s school.
Although nothing came to pass between the three, because the victim’s mother was immediately suspicious of her daughter’s contact with Justin Northcutt, they were still charged with sending explicit material to a minor. Apparently, Justin was the leader in this situation, as text messages showed that his involvement was more detailed, and that he first reached out to the teen to ask for her phone number. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail while his wife received 60. Both had to register as s*x offenders, attend counseling, and stay away from the victim.
13. Debra Lafave
Debra Lafave’s seedy affair with a 14-year-old student in 2004 garnered national attention largely owing to Lafave’s good looks and the defense claiming that to put her in a state penitentiary was like “putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions.” In addition to performing oral s*x on the child, Lafave also allegedly lured him into a portable on campus to have intercourse with him.
The media attention that came for the Lafave case was largely due in part to the teacher’s modeling history and the idea that any boy would be lucky to find himself in such compromising circumstances with a sexy older woman. The scrutiny was so intense that upon learning that Court TV would be covering the first part of the trial, the victim’s mother asked for Lafave to submit a plea deal that would see her spend time under house arrest and probation rather than in jail. Naturally, the defense agreed and Lafave ended her teaching career and was forced to register as a s*x offender. For her part, Lafave claimed that her actions were spurred by bipolar disorder.
12. Carrie McCandless
Choosing a school camping trip to make her first move on her victim, Carrie McCandless was a 29-year-old cheerleading coach at a school in Colorado when she used drugs and alcohol to lure a 17-year-old into her cabin.
According to the arrest affidavit, students noticed the pair making out on the floor and the victim was overhead talking to his friends about the first time he slept with McCandless, as well as when he smoked marijuana with her. Apparently, school administrators were made aware that something inappropriate was happening between a student and teacher, but no authorities were notified. The real kicker to this story? The principal of the school was McCandless’ husband!
The student who was engaged in the affair with McCandless said he did everything he could to cover it up, because according to him, “I didn’t want her to lose her job and I figured I had a lot less to lose than she did.” In the end, McCandless was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
11. Kelly Ann Garcia
It is unfortunately common to see that male victims are targeted by female teachers in illicit affairs, but what about a female student who seeks out a friend in her female teacher? As a mentor to a 16-year-old female student in Texas in 2013, Kelly Ann Garcia was exactly that kind of teacher, and she was 29 when she first engaged in s*x with the child.
Garcia was not the victim’s assigned teacher. Garcia approached the young girl’s mother about mentoring the girl, which her mother agreed to, as Garcia seemed trustworthy. In March of 2013, Garcia first took the girl to Starbucks where she confessed to having an erotic dream about her. Soon after, the two drove to an adult-themed store to purchase a toy, which they then used. The student eventually bragged about her trysts with Garcia to another friend, who then notified the school which quickly took action (unlike other cases on this list). Despite being under investigation, Garcia continued to meet up with the victim. Charged with indecency with a child and s*xual assault of a child, she was ordered to stay away from her victim.
10. Brianne Altice
As a grown woman, you’d think that your self-esteem would be higher than it was as a teenager. But apparently, that was not the case for the now 37-year-old teacher, Brianne Altice, who claimed that her “self-esteem issues” are what led her to have inappropriate relations with three students in 2012 and 2013. Earlier, Altice had claimed that she was the victim because the boys “wore down” her defenses.
The mother of two would have regular encounters with her victims (aged 16, 17, and 17), including in a church parking lot, during school lunch hours, and even in one of the victim’s homes. While Altice initially denied the claims, one of the victims was able to accurately describe the floor plan of her house, as well as the tattoos on her body. Again, the students claimed that the school was aware of the affairs and did nothing to stop it or protect the victims. In the end, Altice was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, with a minimum of two years. She was recently denied parole in February of 2017.
9. Pamela Rogers
It’s disturbing when any teacher abuses his or her position of trust and s*xually abuses a student. But it is perhaps even more disturbing when the student is still a young child. Pamela Rogers was 27 when she began engaging in a s*xual relationship with a 13-year-old in 2004 in Tennessee. According to court documents, Rogers had some type of s*xual contact with the student 12 times during her 3-month relationship with the teen.
After pleading no contest to the charges, Rogers was sentenced to nine months in jail and seven years and three months on probation, ordered to surrender her teaching certificate, and forced to register as a s*x offender.
However, it seems like Rogers simply couldn’t control herself! In April 2006, she was arrested again for sending nude photos and videos, as well as explicit text messages to the same victim, using her father’s cellphone. Then, in June of 2015, she was arrested AGAIN for conspiring to send cellphones into the prison where she had been housed.
8. Abbie Jane Swogger
If a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps Abbie Jane Swogger should have deleted the image that saw her being fondled by six underage boys. The photo in question showed a nude Swogger surrounded by six of her male students who were groping her and mugging for the camera. The former exotic dancer was a 34-year-old teacher’s aide in 2008 when she organized a hotel party that featured several underage boys, many of whom were friends of her two teenage sons. At the party, alcohol and drugs were provided, including crack cocaine.
Before she was caught, Swogger would regularly strip for her male students and had s*x with at least two boys. Her defense lawyer claimed that Swogger’s incomprehensible behavior stemmed from her own drug addiction, but the court was not willing to be lenient on the Pennsylvania teacher’s aide and in 2009, was sentenced to three to six years in jail, 36 years on probation, and made to register as a s*x offender for the rest of her life.
7. Brittni Colleps
Photos and videos strike again in this disturbing and lewd student-teacher s*x scandal. In 2012, 28-year-old Brittni Colleps of Texas was the mother of three children and a high school English teacher when a video filmed on a cellphone emerged of her having group s*x with four students in her home. In a weird twist, Colleps stated that because of this video (and because she did not consent to being filmed), she was the victim rather than the 18 and 19-year-old students with whom she engaged in illicit acts.
While the students were above the minimum age of consent, Texas law prohibits any educator in a primary or secondary school from having s*x with any enrolled student…no matter their age. During her tenure as a teacher, court documents showed that Colleps regularly engaged in graphic texts with her students and invited them over for a night filled with lingerie, s*x toys, and what was essentially an orgy. Despite being sentenced to five years in prison for her crimes, Colleps’ husband stands by her, saying that when she has to explain what happened to her children, it will be punishment enough.
6. Carmina Lopez
Carmina Lopez is the teacher on this list who engaged in a s*xual affair with the youngest person on this list, an 11-year-old student. But that’s not even the worst part. The student was also her godson.
Beginning when she was 28, Lopez carried on a four-year affair with the child, and allegedly would demand s*xual favors in return for providing illicit gifts like alcohol, drugs, money, and a dirt bike. Even if the child needed a ride home from school, Lopez would allegedly insist that he give her a little something first. Over the four years that the affair took place, the student began to understand how Lopez worked. When he threatened to turn her in for her crimes, Lopez told him she’d kill herself. It wasn’t until the child received psychological counseling from Child Protective Services that the relationship was revealed in 2008, and Lopez was charged with more than 80 counts, including s*xual abuse and s*xual battery.
In a shocking twist, Lopez was cleared of all charges in 2010, owing to the victim’s flimsy testimony, with the jury believing that she had effectively been r*ped by the student and bullied into keeping quiet. Lopez’ teaching credentials have since been reinstated.
5. Alexandria Vera
If teachers are supposed to protect their students, then parents should do whatever is possible to protect their children. Unfortunately, for the 13-year-old victim of Texas teacher Alexandria Vera, his parents approved of the illegal relationship (at least according to Vera).
The then-24-year-old had a six-year-old daughter at the time, who called the victim (and eighth-grader) “dad,” and Vera apparently deceived the boy’s family by pretending to date the boy’s father! The two began communicating on Instagram after meeting in summer school. And by February of 2016, Vera had become pregnant by the 13-year-old. Out of fear after a visit from Child Protective Services, Vera terminated the pregnancy, although she claimed that the victim’s family was very excited about the prospect of having another little one to add to their brood. Prior to this, Vera had regularly attended events with the child, introducing herself as his girlfriend.
4. Shelley Dufresne & Rachel Respess
One teacher breaking the law with a student is bad enough. But when two teachers team up to commit a crime, it is downright revolting. Well, that was exactly the case for married teacher Shelley Dufresne (left) and Rachel Respess.
Dufresne was 31 at the time, using a fake Facebook account to send steamy messages to a 16-year-old and allegedly slept with the child about 40 times in her home and her car between August and September of 2014. That sounds fairly mundane (albeit still horrifying) compared to some of the other entries on this list, but it gets even worse. In September of 2014, Dufresne and Respess allegedly engaged in a threesome with the student, which involved the teachers getting intimate with one another before the student slept with Dufresne. He did not sleep with both women because he was unable to maintain an erection; something Dufresne offered to aid him in by buying him Viagra!
It seems that the Louisiana school where the women worked needs to check out their teachers better. At the same time of this case, another female teacher was charged with engaging in an illicit affair with a 16-year-old female student!
3. Cara Dickey
They say that there’s a link between s*x and death. Perhaps no one knows that better than Cara Dickey, the New York teacher who first engaged in a romantic and s*xual relationship with a 14-year-old student before arranging a suicide pact with him.
The affair was discovered by the school administration, having found text messages between her and the teenager in June of 2008. The next day, the two disappeared, having allegedly made a suicide pact of sorts. Dickey was later asleep found in her car, while the student was recovered at a mall, carrying rum, Tylenol, and NyQuil, which Dickey had apparently provided for him. Once her scheme was found out, Dickey was charged with promoting a suicide attempt and endangering the life of a child. Later, when it was discovered that the two had engaged in a physical affair, she was subsequently charged with r*pe.
Dickey served almost three years in prison for her crimes before violating her parole by removing her ankle bracelet and failing to register as a s*x offender. She was sentenced to serve another 18 months in 2012.
2. Pamela Smart
You may have heard of Pamela Smart before, and with good reason. If Cara Dickey gave you the first taste of the “s*x and death” idea, then Smart ran with it and made national headlines.
The unhappily-married former cheerleader was 23 in 1990. She was popular with students, owing to her love of heavy metal music. She was especially popular with one student in particular–sophomore Billy Flynn. She began engaging in a s*xual affair with the 15-year-old and allegedly threatened to stop it if Flynn didn’t kill her husband, Gregory Smart. The prosecution painted Smart as a femme fatale who had her husband murdered in cold blood, manipulating her young lover into doing her dirty work so that she could earn $140k from a life insurance policy.
Smart was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Flynn, still a minor at the time, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 40 years. The case was used as fodder for multiple TV episodes, novels, and films and only comes in second due to the extreme and incredibly disturbing case of our next subject.
1. Mary Kay Letourneau
The case of Mary Kay Letourneau is easily the most notorious among student-teacher s*x scandals, due in part to the fact that Letourneau knew her victim when he was an eight-year-old student in her second grade classroom!
Oh, and the fact that she ended up marrying and having children with him!
Their relationship didn’t begin until 1996, when she was 34 and he was 12. Letourneau was at the time a mother of four and considered the sixth-grader to be a gifted artist. That summer, their relationship turned s*xual, and Letourneau soon became pregnant with his child. After her husband discovered a love letter she had written to the student, he turned her in, and while out on bail in May of 1997, Letourneau gave birth to the daughter she conceived with her former student. Sentenced to 89 months in prison, she was paroled after six, on the condition that she stay away from the victim. She didn’t, and later became pregnant with the teen’s second child, another daughter.
Letourneau was finally released in 2004, and against all odds, ended up marrying her formerly underage victim!