Dallas teacher’s case shows seriousness of child pornography charges
A Dallas high school teacher has been making waves in the headlines after her arrest on August 8. The 24-year-old Hillcrest High School English teacher is accused of having improper sexual contact with a 17-year-old male student.
The teacher has been accused of having sex with the student more than 25 times, prompting legal charges of an improper relationship between educator and student. Oddly enough, however, the charges arising out of the sex itself may not be the most serious that the young educator faces.
She has also been charged with possession of child pornography, as well as tampering with physical evidence in relation to the alleged child pornography. According to police, the educator and the student exchanged 15,371 text messages and 173 multi-media messages from May to July. Many of these messages allegedly contained explicit images of the underage student.
After learning of the investigation, prosecutors say the teacher attempted to delete information from her laptop before giving it the police. She has also been accused of then telling the student to delete photos and messages in his possession, resulting in the tampering with physical evidence charge.
While allegations of an improper relationship between educator and student are very serious, charges of possession or promotion of child pornography can be punished even more harshly. What’s more, securing a conviction may be easier for prosecutors in a child pornography case. Unless the electronic or physical images of a minor in a compromising position can be excluded from evidence by the defendant’s criminal defense attorney, they will be damning evidence. In a child pornography case, rather than having to prove specific instances of conduct, prosecutors need only show control over the illicit images.
Increasingly, allegations of teachers and other adults involved in a sexual relationship with a minor focus more around the explicit images traded than the sex itself. In certain circumstances, those who have never had sexual contact with a minor but are convicted on child pornography charges can face even tougher penalties than those convicted of indecency with a child.
Facing child pornography charges? Contact a Dallas criminal defense attorney immediately
It does not take much to wind up being charged with possession of child pornography. A few racy text messages or even a downloaded image from the internet can result in you facing the potential of years in prison and a lifetime of registration as a sex offender.
If you have been accused of possession or promotion of child pornography, you need a strong legal defense, and you need to begin building your case as soon as possible. Only by challenging improperly collected evidence and presenting strong legal arguments can you hope to avoid the worst consequences of child pornography allegations. Contact a Dallas criminal defense attorney today to fight for your rights.