A Texas school teacher admitted to having drunken sex with two students on two separate occasions, yet will escape jail time thanks to a plea deal.
Lynn Anne Burge, a former teacher with the Muenster Independent School District, pleaded guilty to two counts of improper relationship between a teacher and student, the Gainesville Daily Register reported.
Both charges are second-degree felonies that carry a range of two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, according to the newspaper.
Burge will serve five years of deferred adjudication probation in each case, which is to run concurrently for a total of five years’ probation. She was also fined $2,500 for each charge, for a total of $5,000.
Surrendering her teacher’s license is required, as well.
However, because a third-degree felony charge of online solicitation of a minor was dismissed — one of the students involved was 16 years old and the other was 18 years old — Burge will not have to register as a sex offender.
Her attorney, Rick Hagen, said his client is “incredibly remorseful, she is ashamed.”
“These cases are always difficult,” he told the Register. “There are no excuses. Lynn is responsible. She made mistakes and she immediately accepted responsibility.”
The attorney acknowledged that alcohol was an issue in the case.
Burge claimed to be too intoxicated to recall the details of her sexual encounter with the minor student, though she admitted to having sex with the 18-year-old boy.
“I don’t know. I hope not,” the ex-teacher told an arresting officer. “I don’t know. I didn’t think I did because my clothes were on. Usually if that happens your clothes aren’t on. I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t remember anything.”
The first encounter occurred in 2017, according to court documents.
A teacher at Muenster High School, Burge contacted a 16-year-old male student via Snapchap and sent him nude photos. She would provide him with alcohol and later have sex with him in her home.
She repeated that tactic in 2018, contacting the older student via Snapchat — it is still illegal to have sex with him because he was a student at the time.
Cooke County District Attorney John Warren reportedly said of the plea deal that the victims’ families did not want Burge to go to prison, according to Hagen.
“John Warren is getting a lot of heat from the community,” he said, before adding that the prosecutor may not have agreed with the families.
Warren said in a statement to the paper: “[A]fter consulting with the families of the victims and receiving their input, we believe that this is a just and appropriate plea. The victims in this case will now be able to begin to put this behind them and move on with their lives.”
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