Sunday, June 21, 2009

Former Boise, ID teacher gets 6 months in jail, 10 years probation for sex with student

Michelle Farley, a married mother of a 5 year old boy, was sentenced to up to 6 months in jail, a $2000 fine, and sex offender treatment and registration for having a relationship with a 17 year old boy while she taught philosophy at Boise, ID's Borah High School. The jail term may be shortened once Farley completes a "thinking errors" course at the Ada County Jail, where she is scheduled to be held. Fourth District Judge Timothy Hansen accepted Farley's plea agreement Friday.

The sentence also includes 10 years probation, a prohibition on being near school property, which is why attorney Chuck Peterson wanted a sentence that would allow Farley to take her 5 year old son to kindergarten this fall.

"I want to apologize to (the teen) and his family for the embarrassment and hurt I caused. It hurts me that I have hurt so many people because what I did was so wrong."

Ada County prosecutors say [the victim] was in Farley's psychology class in the 2008/2009 school year when the two began their sexual relationship. Court records say the boy told police he had as many as 15 sexual encounters with Farley between May and Oct. 30.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani told Hansen that Farley displayed "classic grooming behavior," giving him attention and gifts before the relationship got sexual.

Alidjani also said the teen suffered humiliation once news of Farley's arrest got out, since many students knew who he was - including students at other schools who watched sporting events he participated in.

But Peterson said the teen turned 18 in October and was a willing participant in the relationship.
"She was attracted to a younger man," Peterson said. "It is not a case of sexual abuse of an adolescent."

Peterson also said that the teen sought out the relationship to become "a legend," "but he didn't become a legend. He became a pariah," Peterson said. "He brought the whole thing down on his head." He also showed her psychosexual evaluation showed that she was a low risk to reoffend.

However, Judge Hansen explained that the victim was too young to make informed decisions on sex with adults. Hansen also made sure that Farley recognized she was a sex offender.

"I want to emphasize for the record, ma'am, you are a sexual offender," Hansen said. "You will be a sex offender under Idaho law."

No comments: