Sex crimes involving minors are prosecuted very seriously in the state of California. In cases where a teacher is involved, the prosecution may pursue aggressive sentencing due to media coverage and public outcry. In some cases, plea bargains for teachers may be offered to a teacher that significantly reduces the penalties he/she would face if found guilty after a trial. The following is a list of five favorable plea bargains for teachers in California.
1. Redlands teacher facing 29 years in prison accepts plea bargain of one year in jail
Laura Whitehurst, an English teacher in Redlands, admitted to sleeping with three of her teenage students and having one’s baby. She was sentenced to one year in county jail, five years probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender. The 28 year-old was initially charged with 41 counts of intercourse and oral copulation with a minor. She faced 29 years in state prison if convicted of all counts. Instead, she accepted a plea bargain in which she would plead guilty to six counts and the rest were dismissed. According to the prosecution, the plea deal was intended to help the victims recover and move on with their lives instead of going through a long trial.
2. Upland teacher gets no jail time after pleading no contest to four counts of sexual battery in plea bargain
In Upland, elementary school teacher James Andrew Megaw was charged with four counts of felony sexual abuse after students claimed that Megaw touched them during class. The jury did not agree on a verdict and a mistrial was declared. A retrial was set to begin until Megaw agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors. Megaw plead no contest to four counts of misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to three years probation, one year of psychological counseling, the forfeiture of his teaching credential and ordered to stay away from the alleged victims and their families, with no jail time. All civil lawsuits filed against Megaw and the were dropped.
3. Hemet High School teacher gets probation and house arrest in plea bargain
In May 2012, Hemet High School teacher Janel Ramirez plead guilty to two felony counts of oral copulation with a minor and one felony count of sex with a minor with her then-16-year-old student. She agreed to a plea bargain of five years probation and 120 days of house arrest, avoiding jail time and registration as a sex offender. Before the plea bargain, she faced a total of nine years in state prison for the three felony charges against her.
4. Teacher who had student’s baby sentenced to 90 days in jail
Northridge High School teacher Rhonda Eisenberg plead guilty to one count of felony attempted sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a 16 year-old student which produced a daughter. Eisenberg was the legal guardian of a boy from Mexico who was also a student at the school where she taught. She admitted to having sex with the boy 20 to 30 times while he was under her care. Eisenberg’s plea bargain also required her to register as a sex offender.
5. Simi Valley Teacher gets six years in prison for sex with student
Simi Valley teacher Malia Brooks was sentenced to six years in state prison after she plead guilty to three counts of committing a lewd act with a child under 14. She initially plead not guilty to charges that included one felony count of committing a lewd act with a child, one felony count of oral copulation with a child and three counts of sexual penetration of a child. She faced 16 years in prison if convicted of the original charges. Under her plea bargain, Brooks was sentenced to six years in prison, five years probation, registration as a sex offender and $2,000 in restitution.
Call the Sex Crimes Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is a teacher accused of a sex crime, it is critical that you speak to an experienced sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in defending persons charged with sex crimes. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.