Sexual Activity with a Student
One of the reasons why sex offenses involving children are punished so severely is due to the fact that many of these crimes are carried out by those in a position of trust. Indeed, about 90 percent of all children who are the victims of sexual abuse know the person who committed the abuse. This was the motivation behind the North Carolina law against sexual activity with a student. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our North Carolina criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience defending clients facing serious sex crimes. We take an all-hands-on-deck approach to every case we handle, ensuring that you receive the defense you need, deserve and are entitled to.What is Sexual Activity with a Student?
Under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-27.32, it is a crime for certain school officials to engage in “vaginal intercourse” or any other sexual act with a student. More specifically, the law provides for two levels of punishment, depending on the age difference between the parties.
Under the North Carolina sexual activity with a student law, the following people commit a Class G felony if they engage in sexual activity with a student:
- School administrator,
- Student teacher,
- School safety officer, and
It is also a Class G felony if “other school personnel” who are at least four years older than a student engage in sexual activity with the student. Class G felonies carry a maximum term of incarceration of up to 47 months.
However, it is a Class I felony if “other school personnel” is less than four years older than the student at the time they engage in a sex act. Class I felonies carry a maximum term of incarceration of up to 24 months.
The law applies to all public, private and as long as the student attends the school, even if they are no longer in a teacher’s class, on a coach’s team or interacting with the student. However, the law does not apply to former students. So, a school employee who has a sexual relationship with a minor who was formerly a student at their school cannot be charged under this section. However, depending on the student’s age, the school employee could face other sex crimes, such as statutory rape.
Additionally, the statute specifically notes that consent is not a defense to the crime. Thus, even if a teacher and a student engage in consensual sex, the teacher is facing a felony conviction. The only exception is if the school worker and the student are legally married, which is unlikely to occur.
Those convicted of sexual activity with a student not only face harsh criminal punishments but also other collateral consequences. For example, a conviction will almost certainly result in the defendant losing their ability to ever work in a school. Additionally, under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-208.6(5), sexual activity with a student is considered a “sexually violent offense,” which subjects a person to mandatory sex offender registration for 30 years. However, if they have been convicted of a prior sex offense or are designated as a “sexually violent predator, they” must register for life or until their conviction is reversed.Schedule a Free, Confidential Consultation with an Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you were recently arrested and charged with sexual activity with a student, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney. While these crimes are very serious, there are also several defenses that may result in an acquittal or the withdrawal of charges. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have decades of experience aggressively defending the rights of our clients who face these accusations. We understand what you are going through and are prepared to fight your case from every possible angle. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord criminal defense lawyers at 704-918-4747.