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A former Utah high school teacher has been sentenced to serve a minimum of two and up to 30 years in prison for three counts of forcible sex with 16- and 17-year-old boys, after she was caught having sex with one of those 17-year-boys while she was out on bail during her trial.
35-year-old Brianne Altice from Farmington, Utah was arrested in October 2013 after three students from Davis High School reported their relationships with the teacher.
Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports that originally, Altice faced rape charges, but the charges were pled down to forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony. Altice pled guilty to all three counts in April.
One of the students previously testified that the charges against her are "ridiculous." He admitted to having sex with Altice once before her arrest, and three times while she was out on bail in December.
Her lawyer, Ed Brass, argued in court on Thursday that Altice was not any of the boys' teachers when these sexual relationships occurred, and that the boys aggressively pursued Altice by with her:
“She was relentlessly pursued for months by these young men,” Brass told the judge on Thursday. “I’m not excusing what she did. She’s plead guilty to some very serious crimes, there’s no question about that.”
The prosecution, Deputy Davis County Attorney Cristina Ortega, countered that Altice was in a position to ignore the boys:
While Davis County prosecutors acknowledged the teenage boys were flirtatious with Altice, they pointed out she was in a position to say no to any misconduct and she caused real harm to her victims.
“Society for some reason says, ‘Well, they’re boys, they’re men. This would be any kid’s fantasy,’” said Deputy Davis County Attorney Cristina Ortega. “It’s not. This is real life.”
Judge Thomas Kay agreed.
“The point is, you’re the teacher. You’re the adult,” he told Altice.
Judge Kay sentenced Altice to serve 1 to 15 years in prison for each count of sex abuse, two of which would be served consecutively.
He also questioned Altice's remorse and understanding of the case against her. When she spoke in court, Altice said, "I've learned lessons beyond what you can imagine," adding, "Though I am flawed, I am better than this."
[via Fox 13 Salt Lake City]