Police say Christine M., 29, a Boston teacher (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), was instructing one particular student in areas not on any approved curriculum. In fact, she apparently did so for almost two years and is said to have done it more than 300 times. Now, charged with rape, it is she who is going to have to learn from her defense lawyer.
The Defendant did not end the first full week of the new year in a good way last week. She was fired Thursday from her job at the elementary school. Thursday night, she was arrested at her home. Friday was “Court Day”, as she was arraigned on three counts of rape at the Brockton District Court (for sessions in Abington), and then to Hingham District Court to answer four additional counts for rape for the sessions in Rockland. She was released on condition she submit to GPS monitoring and stay away from the complainant and anyone under age 16.
The complainant, a 13-year-old student, says that they had a sexual liaison between the dates of February 2006, when she allegedly took his virginity, to November 2007. The lad told police they had sex for the first time on a couch at the Defendant’s home while her husband slept upstairs. He also described having unprotected sex in the shower, on the kitchen floor and on the living room floor, court documents say.
The Commonwealth alleges that the Defendant was working as a teacher’s aide and tutoring the boy’s younger brother when the relationship began. They claim that the father of the boy, now 16, went to authorities recently after he found some correspondence between his son and the Defendant.
In court, Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott said the Defendant had become like a surrogate mother to the boy, who lives in Abington and was being raised by a single father. He said the relationship progressed to kissing and sex after the Defendant plied the boy with alcohol.
The Defendant’s attorney said there was no evidence his client ever had sex with the teen. He said she acted as the boy’s surrogate mother, feeling sorry for his circumstances, but that relationship ended in July 2007 after she caught the boy stealing liquor from her home.
The Police say the Defendant ended the relationship in a fit of jealousy when she discovered the boy was using a mobile phone she bought him to text other girls.
During the alleged lurid affair, the police allege, the Defendant had sex with the boy on an almost daily basis. The boy told police he had sex with her more than 300 times at his Abington home and the Defendant’s Central Street and Arlington Street homes in Rockland, according to a police report.
I know what you are thinking. “Why would a 16 year old boy lie?”
Obviously, we do not know the truth here, the Defendant is presumed innocent and that is why we have trials. However, that one question, since it cannot always be readily and easily answered, often brings down the curtain on any presumption of innocence in the public’s minds. However, anyone with any experience with teens will tell you that they, like the rest of us, are certainly capable of not telling the truth.
How would it happen in this case? Of course, I do not know. Imagine the feelings of being thrust out of your “surrogate home” after two years. Imagine what may have led the boy to be stealing liquor from that surrogate home. Imagine being confronted by letters that may reflect exaggerations or fantasies you spread a year or so ago. On the other hand, he could be telling the truth.
The point is that just because these allegations appear does not mean that, because of the age of the complainant, our Constitution should get thrown out of the window.
One thing the age does effect, of course, is any issue of consensual sex. In the Commonwealth, as in all states, there is an “age of consent” under which a person cannot be deemed to have had the ability to consent to sex. Therefore, any such sex is considered a rape. Force is not a necessary element. In Massachusetts, the age of consent is 16.
As you can see in this case, charges can come well after the facts at issue allegedly took place. An investigation can be taking place at any time. Particularly with these types of allegations, it is crucial to deal with them as early as possible before any semblance of a belief that you could possibly not be guilty is completely obliterated. As I have said before, many times, actions, even acts of kindness, can end up misinterpreted or perverted by later recollections and interpretations. Anger and resentment can play a large part of that.
In other words, if you suspect that such an investigation might be occurring, or if you are already facing such charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Get advice and representation.
You are likely to need it.
The full articles of this story can be found at http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24900680-948,00.html , http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5wgVKm1TjJnTiLW-wUleYN3QsoQD95K2JF01 and http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2009_01_11_Neighbors:_Teacher_seemed_like_wholesome_family_woman:_Educator__29__accused_of_seducing_13-year-old/srvc=home&position=2