The term sexual predator is most commonly associated with a man victimizing a young girl but of course, that's not always the case. Recently, there has been a surge in reports of cases involving female teachers and their underage students. It's likely that this is something which has unfortunately always happened, but that it's a phenomenon which has been under-reported in the past. In mainstream media, attitudes towards female sexual predators are questionable. More often than not, when the news breaks about a case involving a female teacher - especially an attractive one - being involved with one of her male students, commentary suggests it's somehow a lesser crime because “it's every boy's fantasy.”
The fact remains though, that it's still a crime which sees a woman in a position of power exploiting a vulnerable young person. The boy is still a minor. Consensual or not, it's illegal and morally wrong.
Why do these women do it? As you'll see, many of them are pretty, young, and some even have families of their own. Is it because these boys put these women on a pedestal and worship them, which somehow emboldens them and makes them feel good? Is it because of a mental illness? Is it a fantasy for the women? Or is it all about control? In some cases, we may never know.
15 Symone Greene
Symone Greene wasn't teaching at Options Public Charter for very long when she found herself in some deep trouble. The 22-year old substitute teacher had been working at the Washington school for just a day when she was accused of having oral sex with one of her students. A 17-year old student reportedly gave her his number when he saw her at the school, and they sent text messages back and forth throughout the day. During a pep rally, the student snuck off and received oral sex from the teacher.
Greene had allegedly offered to give him a different sex act for every number on his football jersey. The student filmed it and shared it with his teammates. Greene was caught red handed when she texted the student's phone – a phone that was in custody of the police. In the message received by the police, she asked him if he ran his mouth, going on to say, “I'm so scared. I swear imma cry [sic].”
14 Megan Mahoney
Megan Mahoney was a high school gym teacher at an NYC Catholic high school when she threw it all away for a tryst with one of her students. Mahoney, 24, is charged with 30 counts of statutory rape along with four counts of criminal sexual acts after she had a months-long affair with a 16-year old male student.
According to the student, he and Mahoney would drive around and have sex in her car. His own parents said they'd met Mahoney when she was picking their son up for what they assumed was a date. They thought she was a high school student at the time, but later on, after the boy's ex-girlfriend caught them on camera, Mahoney was arrested. But it goes further than that...
Athletic director Richard Postiglione was stripped of his duties because it emerged that he had been made aware of the affair – and did nothing about it. It's been said that he was also aware of Mahoney sleeping with another student some years before, and also of another female teacher at the same school having an affair with a female student, but he failed to report the allegations to authorities.
13 Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respess
In this case it was not one, but two female teachers who seduced one of their students, though Shelley Dufresne, 32, had apparently been having an affair with the high school student prior to their threesome.
Dufresne transported the minor over to Rachel Respess' home. The 24-year old Respess then had sex with the teen while Dufresne kissed Respess. The student, who was 16 at the time, bragged to fellow students about the incident after the fact, and swears he consented to the sex. But legally speaking, he was a minor at the time the incident took place. The two Louisiana teachers were arrested and released on $7000 bond in October 2014.
12 Brianne Altice
Brianne Altice, a 35-year old English teacher from Utah, isn't being accused of having sex with just one student, but two, who were both underage at the time of their affair. The first student to step forward was 16 and the second was only 17 when they started having a sexual relationship. The second boy even gave Altice a nickname, “teacher with benefits”. Both victims claimed that the teacher had started the affairs by kissing them between classes, which eventually turned into a sexual relationship.
11 Rachelle Gendron
Rachelle Gendron took her job as a sex education teacher a bit too far. The Massachusetts teacher, in her late 20s at the time of the affair, is being charged with having sex with one of her 14-year old students.
She pleaded not guilty, but police recovered evidence such as text messages and nude photos of Gendron from the student's phone. It's believed she had sex with the 14-year old on at least three different occasions, and that she had 'enticed' the underage boy to have sex with her.
10 Kelly Ann Garcia
Kelly Ann Garcia was an English teacher in Texas, but the student she's been charged with sleeping with wasn't even one of her students. She took on the female student, claiming to be serving as a mentor to her. But obviously, “mentoring” has a different connotation to Garcia than it does for most.
It started with Garcia, 29, taking the girl, 16, to Starbucks and admitting she'd had an erotic dream about her. From there, she told the student that she'd broken up with her boyfriend and then she and the student later met up and “kissed passionately.” Over the following weeks, the relationship intensified and became more intimate, and Garcia eventually drove the girl to a sex shop, purchased a sex toy and took her home to have sex with her. The student told classmates about the affair, which led to another student to reporting it to authorities.
9 Jennifer Schultz
Jennifer Schultz was eventually acquitted of sexual assault, but was still charged with giving alcohol to minors after several high school boys took shots of vodka with her at her home one night. The 25-year old teacher reportedly had sex with one of the boys while the other boy was in bed with her – she'd turned to him and he insisted he didn't want to have sex, so she stopped.
Her defense attorney pointed out that she had no criminal history and that the boys had been drinking prior to visiting the then 25-year old teacher's house. He also claimed that a year-long sentence was excessive for a first-time offender. The judge acknowledged she had no criminal history and said “You were a first-year teacher and you really fell down on the job.” We're pretty sure not getting your students drunk and having sex with them is one of the first things they cover when getting a teaching job... At least, it should be common sense.
8 Pamela Joan Rogers Turner
Pamela Turner was a 27-year old gym teacher and basketball coach at a Tennessee elementary school. Yes, we said elementary school.
Turner's 13-year old victim may have been described as “not an ordinary 13-year old” because he shaved, was 5'9 and could pass for someone much older. But the fact of the matter is that he was still very much a 13 year old boy. In an interview with the victim's former best friend, it came out that the blonde teacher was sending messages to her student, and one day while the friends were hanging out, she came on to the student, telling him that he was cute.
It escalated from there with the teacher texting the boy 5 to 6 times a day, which in turn led to the 13-year old losing his virginity to her and apparently, to them having sex countless times. But it gets worse. The teacher claimed her hot water heater wasn't working and the victim's parents, unaware of the relationship between the teacher and their son, let Turner stay with the family on several occasions. When Turner's husband left her, she even moved in with the boy's family. According to the friend, Turner was obsessed with the boy, and even after she'd been convicted, she kept messaging him, sending nude photos and reaching out to him online. Her continued pursuit of the boy caused her probation to be revoked and she was forced to serve out the rest of her seven year sentence in prison.
7 Wendie A. Schweikert
Apparently, Pamela Turner isn't the only elementary school teacher to be charged with seducing one of her students.
Wendie Schweikert was a fifth grade teacher from South Carolina who had sex several times with one of her 11-year old students. The boy claims he was scared because Schweikert had sex with him on her desk after school one day - he was so scared that he told his mother about it. She'd also fondled the boy with six other students present and took the victim to an amusement park where she reportedly performed oral sex on him. She was arrested in 2006 and her bond was set at $100,000.
6 Debra Lafave
According to Debra Lafave's lawyer, the young, blond teacher was simply “too pretty for prison.” Lafave is a former Orlando, Florida teacher who had sex with a 14-year old student. The victim wasn't a student of hers, but would often visit her classroom and they often talked outside of class as well.
Charges against Lafave were dismissed when she struck a plea deal, because the victim's mother did not want her son's identity to come out. Had it gone to trial, the case was going to be covered by CourtTV and spokespersons for the network said there was no way they could protect his identity.
Lafave's case caused quite a stir because it begged the question “are female sex offenders treated the same as males in the court system?” Many would argue her lesser sentence shows that the answer to that question is a resounding no. Lafave claims that manic episodes from her bipolar disorder caused her to be hypersexual and act in ways she otherwise wouldn't.
5 Carrie McCandless
Carrie McCandless was a 29-year old social studies teacher who became romantically involved with one of her students. Tommy Clay – the student, 17 at the time of the affair, who has since spoken out about the experience – and McCandless exchanged text messages often, up to seventy in a single day.
During an overnight hiking trip that McCandless was chaperoning, other students caught the pair making out on the floor of a tent and the truth came out. Clay's mother spoke out after the revelation, saying that she believed it to be every boy's fantasy and that her son's experience was a victimless crime. After news of the affair broke out, Tommy lost friends, and had to be pulled out of school. He was then home schooled for the rest of his high school career.
4 Leah Shipman
Leah Shipman, a 42-year old teacher, was in the process of being charged with sexually assaulting an underage student. The student was only 15 when the affair started, but at the age of 17 the boy's mother agreed to let the minor marry his teacher and lover. In North Carolina, a husband can't be forced to testify against his wife, thus prosecutors had no choice but to drop the charges against her.
Shipman married the boy six days after her divorce from her husband, to whom she'd been married for 19 years, was finalised. News of the marriage came out a few years after the fact when Shipman pled guilty to a lesser offense of resisting an officer investigating alleged abuse.
3 Amanda Sotelo
Amanda Sotelo was a substitute teacher who might have taught in her victim's classroom, but ultimately she met the 14-year old boy through her own daughter. Originally, they'd bonded over their long discussions about their problems – both were going through some rough times. This eventually led to them having sex “like grown-ups” according to the boy. Sotelo discovered that she was pregnant, and claims her husband couldn't have been the father because he'd had a vasectomy - she claimed it was the student's child. She also claims, like other teachers have before her, that she and the boy are “in love”.
2 Mary Kay Letourneau
In possibly the most infamous case of a student-teacher love affair, this one is the most shocking. Not only did it bring an end to Letourneau's marriage, there were two children born from it, and eventually, the student married his teacher lover. It all started when Villi Fualaau was 8 years old. Letourneau later said that she was drawn to his stunning features.
When he was 12, she decided to make a move on him. He was only 12 years old the first time they had sex on the roof of her house. Letourneau then became pregnant by the boy. She knew that her husband would know the child wasn't his because of Fualaau's dark features. But before it got to that point, her husband found love letters between the two of them. He confronted the boy and ultimately, it was he who admitted to the affair.
Letourneau was arrested and charged with child sexual assault, though she claimed it was love throughout the trial. Her sentence was suspended because she was to get help and no longer contact Fualaau - though this wasn't to be the case. She contacted him upon her release and had sex with him in her car. Which led to her becoming pregnant again – and this time the judge sentenced her to seven years in prison. When Fualaau was no longer a minor, the pair married.
1 Erin McLean
While many of these stories have disrupted lives, ended careers and damaged the victims who were enticed by the teachers, none are as devastating as what happened in the case with Erin McLean and her student/lover. Erin and her husband, Eric, had been fighting over the fact that Erin had been having an affair with a student she'd met during an unpaid teaching internship. Not too long after, the victim, Sean Powell, would be found dead in his car, just outside of their home.
Erin believes it was a premeditated murder, brought on by the affair.
According to Powell's mother, McLean preyed on her son, teasing him with talk of marriage. Powell's mother believed that she led him on, continually texting him even after he'd moved from Knoxville to Nashville to stay with her. The boy was found with a gunshot wound to his head and Eric McLean standing beside the car. According to Erin, Eric was eerily calm and simply said, “Congratulations” when she found her lover dead.