Plea deal settles teacher-student sex case

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 22, 2013 - 13:46
  • Updated : Jan 24, 2013 - 18:14
This photo is not directly related to the article. (123rf)

Prosecutors in North Carolina say they made a plea deal with a teacher charged with having sex with a student after learning she had married him.

Former Brunswick County Academy teacher Leah Gayle Shipman, 42, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to misdemeanor resisting a public officer, the Wilmington Star-News reported Friday.

Shipman was arrested in January 2009 on charges of sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student. Shipman, who was married at the time, was suspended from her job and her contract wasn‘t renewed.

The newspaper said court records indicate she divorced her husband of 19 years on Jan. 19, 2011, and six days later married Johnnie Ray Ison, then 17. The youth’s mother, Susan Wilson, signed the paperwork allowing him to marry.

While Ison had divulged he had sex with the teacher when he was 15, Brunswick County prosecutor Gina Essey said Shipman was offered the plea because his statements were inadmissible in court if he didn’t testify, and under state law a person cannot be made to testify against a spouse.

“The defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against them. Statements made to police officers are inadmissible hearsay except in certain circumstances,” Essey said. “None of the statements made in this case would be admissible without the victim. The state pled [her] to what we could prove without the victim.”

Shipman was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and 12 months of probation. She also was ordered to pay $345 in restitution and surrender her teaching license.

Ison, now 19, pleaded guilty the same day to unrelated breaking and entering and larceny charges, Department of Correction records indicate. He received two years probation. (UPI)

<관련 한글 기사>

女교사,10대학생과 "부적절한"관계 맺다가

미국 캐롤라이나(Carolina) 주 북부에서 유부녀 교사와 미성년 학생의 성관계가 들통이 났지만 교사가 처벌을 면한 사건이 발생했다.

브런스윅카운티아카데미(Brunswick County Academy) 교사로 일했던 레아 개일 쉽먼(Leah Gayle Shipman, 42)이 2009년15세 학생과 관계를 가진 사실이 해당 학생에 의해 드러났다. 이는 윌밍턴스타-뉴스(Wilmington Star-News)가 금요일 보도했다.

그러나 교사는 처벌을 면하게 되었다. 그녀가 2011년 1월 19일 남편과 19년만에 이혼하고 6일 뒤 해당 학생인조니 래이 아이손(Johnnie Ray Ison, 17)과 결혼한 것이다. 이손의 어머니인 수잔 윌슨(Susan Wilson)은 아들의 결혼을 허락하는 서류에 서명을 한 것으로 드러났다.

노스캐롤라이나 주 법에 따르면 피고의 배우자가 재판에 참석할 수 없다. 이에 따라 현재 배우자이자 피해자인 아이손이 재판에 나올 수 없게 되어, 재판이나 형벌 또한 모두 무산되었다.

이에 따라 십 수 년의 수감생활을 할 뻔한 쉽먼은 30일의 형과 12개월의 보호감찰 조치를 받게 되었다. 교사 자격 박탈과 30여 만원의 벌금도 뒤따랐다.

아이손은 같은 날 본 사건과 무관한 절도 혐의로 2년의 보호감찰 형을 받았다. (코리아헤럴드)