In September 2013, elementary school teacher Ethel Anderson was convicted of 9 sex crimes against a student. She is currently awaiting an upcoming hearing to appeal to the courts to have her sentence reduced.
Anderson, who was 31 at the time of the sentencing, was accused of carrying out a sexual relationship with a teenage boy who was 13-years-old at the time that the assaults were believed to have taken place.
It was reported that she was tutoring the teen outside of the classroom when the events took place and that they had exchanged hundreds of text messages, some of which were viewed as sexual in nature.
When the victim gave his testimony in front of the jury he stated that though he and Anderson engaged in physically intimate acts they did not have sexual intercourse.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on all of the 9 charges, and Hillsborough Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe sentenced Anderson to 38 years in prison.
It was reported that the court of appeals has reversed some of the sentences assigned by Judge Tharpe because they felt they were too “heavy-handed.” He was also taken out of the sex crimes division based on the suspicion that he was “jaded” when hearing the cases.
A broadcast news segment covering the story compared the sentence that Anderson was serving against those handed down in the same county for more severe sex crimes. Anderson was sentenced to nearly four times the longest penalty that was shown in the piece.
Anderson acquired new legal representation, and on December 12, she is returning to the courtroom to ask a different judge to issue a lesser sentence based on the belief that Tharpe gave her too long of a prison term to pay retribution for the charges, and that her previous lawyer did not provide proper representation for her during the proceedings.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a sex crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.