Schoolroom Sex Scandals: A look at female teacher-male student relationships

Schoolroom Sex Scandals: A look at female teacher-male student relationships

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Since 2000, four Tri-state women have been convicted of having sex with their male students.

Lisa Karabinus, a married mother now a registered sex offender, served time for an affair with one of her students at Kings Junior High.

Sheliah Cull, also a married woman with children, was convicted after having sex with two teenage boys she taught at Grant County Middle School.

Stacey Schuler was convicted last year of 16 counts of having sex with the students she taught at Mason High School.

And last month, Andrea Conners, a Highlands High teacher, admitted that she, too, had sex with one of her 17 year old students.

"It's a very control-oriented relationship," said Dr. Stuart Bassman, a local sex psychologist.

Dr. Bassman has counseled both victims and offenders. He said there is a difference between male and female predators. Dr. Bassman said lust is often the motive for males while affection and the need for power are the reasoning for women.

"It's difficult to generalize, but a number of females are typically in a marital relationship and they see their acting out as being an affair," said Dr. Bassman. "They don't really see it for what it is-- abuse."

It's abuse that attorney Joshua Crabtree said is often made possible by blurred boundaries that have been erased by new technology. The former teacher has represented victims in some of the area's biggest teacher-student sex scandals.

"Teachers inviting students into their lives and all the things that social media allows," said Crabtree. "It reduces barriers."

Fox19 Legal Analyst and former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen added that society's double standard also makes it tougher to prosecute offenders.

"If the male teacher is the defendant and there's a female student, that person is probably going to prison," said Allen. "If on the other hand, it's a female teacher and a male student, you're not seeing that many stiff sentences."

Consider some of the national high profile cases.

Remember Mary Kay Letourneu? The middle school teacher had sex with her 13 year old student. She served seven years in prison, but once released, the two were married and are still together.

Former model and beauty pageant contestant Pamela Rogers was charged with 15 counts of sexual battery after an affair with a 13 year old student. She was first sentenced to 270 days in prison, but violated probation by sexting the same victim. She was then sentenced to eight years behind bars.

Florida teacher Deborah Lafave had sex with a 14-year-old male student. She spent no time behind bars. She said she had bipolar disorder.

Why would an adult woman with a good profession risk it all?

"That's the 64,000 dollar question," said Allen. "I suppose it's just an urge they feel they need to satisfy. You're talking about potential felony charges. This is a felony in most states. You have reporting requirements. You have to register as a sex offender. Sometimes for 15, 20, 25 years."

But what about the victims?

Dr. Bassman said the scariest part is often that the teenagers don't recognize themselves as such.

"There's a book that's very popular right now called '50 shades of Grey,'" said Dr. Bassman. "It's on the bestseller list. If you look over that book what's fascinating is the male in that book is acting out in a very controlled, very dominant manner, and he himself is the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of an older woman, but it's rationalized. It's justified in some ways."

That is exactly why everyone Fox19 spoke with recommended counseling for the young male victims.

"In my experience, with a lot of the kids that we've represented, some of the older boys are just wanting some things to calm down and the issue to go away," said Crabtree. "And then they'll come back later once they're starting to have some issues that are coming up and saying, I need some help with something that's going on in this relationship."

As far as the women, Dr. Bassman believes they can change. However, he said they must first recognize the crime they've committed and then want to change.

As far as what you can do to protect your children? Experts say keep an eye on your kids. Monitor cell phone usage. Also, pay attention to changes in behavior. If your teenager suddenly drops out of activities, withdraws from friends, or tries to act more mature, those are all warning signs.

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