Two Teachers Face Multiple Years in Prison for Sex with Students

For several weeks over the course of the early summer, former Oklahoma teacher Jennifer Caswell and former Utah teacher Brianne Altice waited anxiously to find out what their punishment would be after entering guilty pleas to charges of sex with underage students. Their wait is now over.

Earlier this spring, I wrote about Caswell’s case and in particular, the fact that Dr. Phil McGraw allowed her to present her version of the events on a May 19 broadcast of The Dr. Phil Show. If she thought her television appearance might garner her some sympathy with the court, she was sorely mistaken. Two weeks ago, Harmon County District Judge Richard Darbym sentenced Caswell to 15 years in prison with five years suspended. Under Oklahoma prison regulations, she will first be eligible for parole in eight-and-a-half years. Once she is released, she will be required to register as a sex offender and of course, will lose her license to teach in Oklahoma.

The father of Caswell’s victim has filed a $1 million civil suit against her, the school principal, the district superintendent, the Hollis Board of Education, and the Hollis School District. Presumably Caswell will not be making any further television appearances to discuss her case.

In Utah, 36-year-old Brianne Altice pleaded guilty earlier this year “to three counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse.” In exchange for her plea, prosecutors agreed to drop 11 other felony counts relating to her months-long sexual relationships with three underage high school males. Each of the remaining charges carried a 1- to 15-year jail sentence.

On July 9, Judge Thomas Kay sentenced Altice to a term in jail of 2 to 30 years (the sentences for two of the charges run concurrently, while the sentence for the third will be served consecutively following the completion of the first two). It is not clear from the judge’s ruling exactly how long Altice will be in prison or when (or if) she will be eligible for parole.

Two of the victims are suing the school district, alleging that the district had knowledge of her behavior and did nothing to stop it. In pleadings, one victim alleged that the joke around school was “Who is Ms. Altice sleeping with now?”

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