Friday, July 10, 2015

Photos: Utah teacher who Sexually abused three students sentenced to 30 years in prison

Utah teacher 
 A judge sentenced a former high school English teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three male students to up to 30 years in prison Thursday.

Prosecutors say one of the boys was 16 and two were 17 when Brianne Altice had sex with them. The 36-year-old Altice was initially free while her case played out, but was sent to jail in January after it emerged that she continued a sexual relationship with one of the then 17-year-old boys while she was out on bail.

Her lawyer said Altice is a damaged person who gave into daily flirtations from the boys because she was belittled at home and dealing with self-esteem problems.

She cried as she apologized to the victims at a sentencing hearing on Thursday where she was sentenced to at least two years behind bars and at most 30 years. It is unlikely she will serve anywhere near as long as the maximum sentence.

'I am human and I messed up during a very vulnerable time in my life,' she told the court.
The mother of the then-16-year-old victim said her son was also vulnerable.

'You hurt my son in ways that you will never know. You hurt all of those boys,' said the woman. She did not give her name, and The Associated Press does not generally identify family members of sexual assault victims to avoid revealing a victim's identity.

Altice pleaded guilty to three counts of forcible sexual abuse in April.

Altice sent a handwritten letter to Judge Thomas Kay last month asking him not to send her to prison. 

She said she's harmless, and promised she wouldn't repeat the crime.

But Kay said Thursday that she needs to change her life, and he believed that would require prison time.

'You were the adult, you were the teacher, you were the one that could have stopped that from happening,' he said.

Prosecutors say she befriended the boys, allowing them to hang out in her classroom, and the relationships later turned sexual. One victim said he considered her to be his girlfriend during their yearlong sexual relationship.

She was fired shortly after the allegations came to light, and her husband filed for divorce and custody of their child.

Her lawyer Ed Brass said she was no longer the boys' teacher when the sex occurred. He later said she took the plea deal to avoid an uncertain outcome at trial.

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