Psychologist explains pattern of student-teacher sexual relations

Published: May. 12, 2012 at 12:36 AM EDT
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FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - A psychologist explains to FOX19 the reasons for a recent outbreak of teachers accused of having sexual relations with their students.

Highlands High School business education teacher Andrea Conners, 33, of Cleves, Ohio was indicted Thursday for felony Sex Abuse which, if convicted, carries one to five years in prison. The eight year veteran educator is accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage male student between October 1, 2011, and November 30, 2011. Sources tell FOX19 News that Conners is married and has two young sons.

Conners is the third teacher in the Tri-State to be either indicted or convicted in the past six months, and the third female educator. Stacy Shuler, a Mason High School teacher, was convicted of 16 counts of having sex with several teenage male students last fall.

Sarah Jones, a Ben-Gal cheerleader, was indicted in April for having sexual relations with a male student where she taught at Dixie High School in Edgewood.

FOX19 talked with a leading psychologist who routinely testifies in court regarding sexual addictions.

"There is a sense of power and control. There is a sense of being attracted to the innocence," Dr. Stuart Bassman said. "There is an extent where a person is emotionally suffering and they seek out the comfort of another person and they do so in a very destructive way. It could have been that something like that happened to them or in a sense they don't realize the harm, and in their distorted thinking they rationalize and justify that".

In addition, the consensus is that when this happens a person makes it difficult for themselves to be a further success in life. For example, not only do they usually go to prison but when they are released they have to register as a sex offender.

"Some of those requirements are for life," says Fox19 News Legal Analyst Mike Allen, a former judge, police officer, prosecutor and now a criminal defense attorney. "In addition to that you would lose your state certification and you would lose your ability to practice in your profession. There's a possibility of a civil suit or civil litigation that would arise out of it on behalf of the victim."

Allen also says if the person winds up getting divorced and has children, they could easily lose custody of them because judges are very reluctant to give custody too, and in some cases, even grant visitation time to registered sex offenders.

"It does not present them in a good light and the other parent on the other side of it certainly would use that against them."

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