Educator-student abuse occurs when a teacher violates a student’s rights, safety, or well-being. Some examples include unfair academic treatment, discrimination, excessive use of corporal punishment, and sexual harassment. In Texas, there is a law that prohibits improper educator-student relationships.

Is an Improper Educator-Student Relationship Charge the same as Criminal sexual Abuse?

No. Criminal sexual abuse occurs when a person makes sexual contact with the intent to humiliate, abuse, harass, or arouse sexual desire. A victim in criminal sexual abuse may also be an adult, whereas this law limits the law to protect children who attend elementary, middle, and/or high school.

What is an Improper Educator-Student Relationship Charge?

Texas law makes it illegal for a teacher to have sexual contract with a student. The law also prohibits any public or private employee, not just a teacher, that works at a primary or secondary school from having sexual contact with a student.

What Does Texas Consider to be Sexual Contact?

The term “sexual contact” refers to a teacher engaging in the contact with the intent to gratify or arouse the sexual desire of any individual by touching the victim’s intimate areas, such as genitals.

Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender if Convicted of this Crime?

No. At the moment, Texas does not include the crime of an improper teacher-student relationship as an offense requiring registration as a sex offender

What’s the Punishment for having an Improper Relationship with a Student?

A conviction of improper relationship between educator and student is charged as a second degree felony. The punishment for a second degree felony is 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. 

Are There any Defenses Available to Me to Fight this Charge?

Yes. There are some valid defenses, like if the teacher wasn’t more than three years older than the student at the time of the relationship or if the teacher and student were married when the relationship occurred. 

Should I Talk to a Lawyer about My Case?

Yes. Talk to a criminal lawyer in Texas immediately and they can assist you in determining the right defense to use and represent you.