Arkansas Supreme Court OK’s Sex Between Teachers and 18-Year Old Students
The Supreme Court of Arkansas recently held that the State could not criminalize sex between consenting adults, even if one is a teacher and the other an 18-year old student.
Paschal v. State of Arkansas, 2012 Ark. 127, evolved from the conviction of Defendant David Paschal, a high school History and Psychology teacher who engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student over a five-month period. Paschal was initially convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
On appeal, the state Supreme Court held, however, that Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-125(a)(6) Supp. 2009), as applied to a high school teacher who engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student, who was an adult under Ark. Code Ann. § 9-25-101(a) (Repl. 2009), infringed on the teacher’s fundamental right to privacy and was not the least restrictive method available for the promotion of the State’s interest; therefore, it was unconstitutional.
“Regardless of how we feel about Paschal’s conduct, which could correctly be referred to as reprehensible, we cannot abandon our duty to uphold the rule of law when a case presents distasteful facts,” the Court wrote in the majority opinion.
The court reversed and dismissed the convictions for sexual assault in the second degree.
Those accused of crimes are entitled to the protections of the Constitution of the United States. An experienced criminal defense attorney ensures a defendant’s rights are protected. If you have been charged with, or convicted of an offense, you have rights which the Law Offices of Marc Neff can protect. For a confidential consultation, please contact our office at 215-563-9800 or via email at email@example.com.