Former Highlands teacher faces sentencing for sex scandal | Crime
NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - - A former teacher who was convicted of having sex with a student was sentenced on Wednesday.
Andrea Conners was sentenced to five years in jail, but will only have to serve 90 days. She will be on probation for the rest of the time, and will be under supervised release for another five years.
"Hopefully it's a sentence that will be sent to all educators," said Judge Fred Stine. "Educators everywhere need to know that there's a possibility of going to jail for this behavior."
Conners cried during her sentencing hearing on Wednesday as she apologized for what she did and who she hurt. Her attorney, Rob Dziech, asked that she not be sent to jail, saying she has been permanently damaged and has hurt her family. Dziech says anxiety and social dysfunction led Conners to commit the crime.
Conners, a mother of two, pled guilty in June guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student at Highlands High School in Ft. Thomas between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2011
Even though Kentucky's age of consent is 16, the felony she was indicted under makes it illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student under age 18.
Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass says it wasn't a one time offense, as the pair had multiple sexual encounters, including at school, in her classroom, at a state park and at her parents house.
"Where were her (Conners') kids when she was out having sex with someone else's kids?" asked Snodgrass.
Snodgrass said the victim's family has suffered as well, and the student has been hospitalized four times for anxiety since Conners was arrested.
Conners changed her not guilty plea to guilty on one count of first-degree sexual abuse, which will require her to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. She will also have to complete a sexual treatment program required by the state. She is also not allowed to in possession of pornography or have future employment that would attract future victims.
Her attorney said that she was suicidal after she was first charged, but therapy has led her past that.
Conners was facing a maximum five year prison sentence. Prosecutors were asking for 18 months.
"I have a question in the back of my mind- what in the world was she thinking?" said Stine. "Adults in our society are supposed to be responsible. It is a rock bottom crime."
"Hopefully it's a sentence that will be sent to all educators. Educators everywhere need to know that there's a possibility of going to jail for this behavior"
Conners resigned on May 3 after officials with Fort Thomas Independent Schools became aware of rumors of an inappropriate relationship with a student. She is voluntarily surrendering her teaching license and is currently working for her father.
Conners taught business management classes during her 8 years with the school district.
Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.