A former Georgia teacher said she was coerced by a student when she admitted in court Friday to having sex with the 17-year-old, reports the New York Post.
Therese Gunn, 54, taught orchestra at South Gwinnett High School when she reportedly began a sexual relationship with her student. She pleaded guilty and apologized for her actions but said the student pressured her like a”like a used car salesman.”
The teen had a different story, telling the court that Gunn “made [his] adolescence a living hell.”
Gunn’s attorney asked for house arrest for the former teacher.
“She regrets very much the pain she caused to the victim and his family as well as her own family and friends,” the attorney said.
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Warren Davis denied the defense attorney’s request, sentencing Gunn to 90 days in prison. She will be on probation for 10 years.
The judge said he believes Gunn isn’t really a threat to society, but she should pay for her actions nonetheless.
“I don’t find that you’re the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years. We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You’re not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care.”
Georgia law says that any sexual contact with someone with a supervisory role is illegal, regardless of whether or not the contact is consensual.
Gunn resigned in 2016. There have been three other teachers from Gwinett that were arrested for sex-related charges from the 2015-2016 school year.
The police report said that the relationship began in March 2016. It took place over a span of fewer than two months with some of the sexual encounters taking place at school and some at the teacher’s home.
Investigators found that the student attended a party a Gunn’s home where she allowed him and two female students to smoke marijuana, at one point joining in herself.
Feature photo: Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office