SAND SPRINGS, Okla. – An Oklahoma high school teacher who was caught in a hotel room with a 17-year-old male student only received a $600 fine, three years of probation and a ban from teaching.
The boys’ parents consider the teacher a rapist and believe the sentence should have been much worse.
Erin Queen, a former English teacher at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs, was originally charged with second degree rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a report from the Tulsa World.
The age of sexual consent is 16 in Oklahoma, except for cases involving teachers and students. A teacher having sex with a student from the school system where he or she works is considered a rapist, according to the news report.
But under an agreement with prosecutors, Queen pleaded guilty to a single felony count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The victim’s mother, Shasta Belty, said she became concerned about his whereabouts on the night of March 17, 2012. When she called his cell phone, the boy honestly told her that he was at a hotel with “Miss Queen.” When the mother said the name sounded familiar, the boy said, “It’s my fifth-hour English teacher.”
Police found the teacher in the hotel room in the early hours of the following morning, according to the news report.
The worst part for the parents was the plea agreement, which they called a “slap on the wrist.”
Belty said the teacher was treated with leniency because she is a woman. She said her son suffered greatly when word of the encounter spread, and he was ostracized by classmates during his senior year, the news report said.
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“(The prosecutor) was under the impression that were okay with a conviction as long as she never taught again,” Belty was quoted as saying. “Well, we were okay with a conviction of the second-degree rape, or something that represents the sexual misconduct.”