Arkansas, like all other states, has its share of arrests of teachers for sexual assault and sexual relations with their minor students. It may be that these kinds of incidents occur as often in the past, but in present times information clearly travels faster and wider than ever before. The latest arrest involves a teacher and coach for sexual assault and rape. The 36-year-old male is accused of having sex with two different victims during the 2013 and 2014 school years.
The victims were allegedly each about 13 when the separate contacts occurred, according to police. They each gave similar statements of being seduced and giving in to sex with him against their wills. According to the allegations, there may be some wavering in the allegations that the victims had sex involuntarily or under significant force of compulsion. Nonetheless, that line of argument is not a defense under the statutory rape laws.
Based on police reports and school statements, the man was suspended without pay from his teaching and coaching positions at the Anthony School in Little Rock as of the end of the 2014 teaching year. He was hired for the 2015 year by a charter school as a teacher and girls volleyball coach. That school issued a statement saying that a national background check did not reveal anything on the defendant. Reportedly, he is now suspended without pay.
If the complaints hold up as reliable and essentially true, it becomes a difficult case for defense counsel. The potential sentence of imprisonment is a substantial one under Arkansas law, and counsel will make a thorough investigation of the existence of any viable defenses to the charges. In all cases of sexual assault and rape, defense counsel must provide a thorough and aggressive defense so that all avenues on behalf of the accused are pursued. It is known that victims will occasionally embellish or fabricate accusations of sexual contact with an adult for personal purposes. Counsel is duty bound to determine whether that phenomenon plays a role in this prosecution.
Source: arkansasmatters.com, “Update — Teacher Accused of Rape Appears in Court”, Stephanie Sharp, Nov. 4, 2015