A former South Carolina special education teacher was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty last year to fourth-degree rape and sexual contact with a child under 16.
Argus Leader reports that Kari Jo Boll, now 31, admitted in Sept. 2017 to having sex with a 15-year-old boy under her tutelage in the West Central School District. Authorities confirmed her account with the student. Court documents reveal that Boll, who is married, claimed the relationship began after the student revealed his romantic feelings for her. He had received her assistance in a specific subject at school.
The teacher told authorities she insisted on waiting until the boy turned 16 before they entered into a physical relationship, but she later admitted it began while he was just 15 and she 29. South Dakota age of consent is 16 years old. In the summer of 2016, Boll and the student had sex more than 20 times, at least half of which occurred before the victim’s 16th birthday.
Judge Robin Houwman handed down the sentence, remarking of the inappropriate relationship, “You are the fourth teacher. You are not the first woman, but you are the first where your victim was a special education student.”
The paper additionally reports that Boll had worked at the school for three years prior to her arrest.
Boll initially faced up to 300 years in prison after being charged with 21 felony counts of fourth degree rape and sexual contact with a child under 16. A plea deal for one charge of fourth degree rape and one charge of sexual contact capped the possible prison time at 30 years.
The Leader added that the boy’s mother shared a victim impact statement, saying the situation with Boll has had a great impact on the family, and that her son was “robbed of reaching maturity” at a normal rate. For her part, Boll’s mother and husband told the court they thought she could be rehabilitated, and she’d continue to have their support if released from custody.
While awaiting sentencing, Boll received addiction and trauma treatment from a sex therapist, who testified at the trial that a long prison sentence would undo the progress she had made.
Boll had already been receiving treatment for eight months when she relapsed and contacted the victim in the spring of 2017, thereby violating her bond.
[Feature Photo: Kari Jo Boll/West Central School District]