A former high school math teacher was sentenced to six months in jail this week after having sex with two of her students and sending them nude photos of herself.
Meredith Powell, 25, pled guilty to two counts of third degree child rape and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes as she sobbed openly in the courtroom. The judge imposed the unusually short sentence because Sawyer appeared to be remorseful for her crime.
“I feel like words can’t even express how sorry I am,” Powell said, according to The Daily Mail. “I wish I could take back what happened to the students that I failed. Sorry doesn’t take away anything that happened, but I hope they can move forward with as little impact as possible.”
Though the judge was clearly deeply impacted by her speech, many think she deserves a harsher sentence. One family member of a victim stormed out of court after the sentence was read while others cursed openly in anger.
“Ms. Powell repeatedly talked about letting her students down,” Shannon McMinimee, a lawyer for Powell’s former school district. “The reality is she committed child rape.”
Earlier this year, Powell admitted to having sex with two students who were between 14 and 16 years old. She had sex with them inside her very own classroom, and sent them sexual pictures of herself in her bathtub. The once popular teacher was only caught after she sent the girlfriend of one of her victims a letter apologizing for what she had done.
Though her crime was horrendous, the judge felt sympathy for her and believed her behavior was out of character.
“This is difficult, this is different, this is not what we usually see,” the judge told Powell. “Everything suggests this is out of character for you. But again, you need to understand the severe impact that this has had not just on the victims but on their families.”
What do you think? Was the judge right to show Powell mercy, or does she deserve to do hard time? Let us know in the comments below!