Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WV Teacher Gets 3 Months for Child Sex Abuse - Updated

(Martinsburg, West Virginia) Former eighth-grade Musselman Middle School teacher, Stephanie Jo Walters, was sentenced yesterday to three months in jail and five years of supervised probation.

Circuit Court Judge Gina Groh remarked that Mrs. Walters "has disgraced her profession."
Walters herself begged for leniency, reiterating her concerns for her children.

"I really am sorry. I really will think about this every day for the rest of my life," Walters said. "I am really terrified that if I go to jail that he is going to take my kids from me. ... I just ask for mercy on behalf of my kids."

As part of probation, Walters also will have to adhere to an ongoing treatment plan requiring active participation in sexual abuse counseling. Walters will further be sentenced to five years of supervised release upon the expiration of her terms of probation. During the period of probation and extended supervision, Walters is not to have any direct or indirect contact with children other than her own.

She also will be ordered to voluntarily surrender any teaching license in any state and will be required to register for life as a sex offender.
Walters fears her former husband will try to get permanent custody of her children.

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WV Teacher Guilty of Sex Abuse - Updated
[Previous 6/11/10 post]
(Martinsburg, West Virginia) Former teacher Stephanie Jo Walters, 28, was in court yesterday and pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust.

During an emotion-filled proceeding, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh “reluctantly” accepted a binding plea agreement.
A prison sentence of not less than 10 years nor more than 20 is to be suspended and Walters will be placed on supervised release for 10 years as part of the binding plea.

However, the judge still has the discretion to sentence the former teacher to as many as four months in jail as a condition of probation.
Also, Walters' teaching career is over and the plea deal specifies that she is to register as a sex offender for life.

The reason Judge Groh was reluctant in accepting the plea deal is that Walters was somewhat reluctant in accepting responsibility for the crimes she committed. Walters initially blamed others for being unfair to her and then she learned that was a mistake and finally admitted culpability yesterday in court.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 28th.

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WV Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse of Boy
[Previous 5/1/09 post]
(Martinsburg, West Virginia) A 27-year-old teacher at Musselman Middle School, Stephanie Jo Walters, has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student.

Walters has been charged with sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust.
The student told Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. B. F. Hall in an interview that he got Walter’s mobile phone number at a basketball game in December 2008 and began receiving text messages “of a sexual nature” from Walters in February 2009, according to Hall’s complaint filed in magistrate court.

The boy also said he received explicit messages from Walters via the MySpace social networking website and on April 3, Walters allegedly approached him and led him to a janitor’s closet in the school where they kissed and she allowed him to touch her breasts, but not beneath her shirt, according to Hall’s complaint.
Walters was arraigned in Berkeley County Magistrate Court earlier today and released on $20,000 bond. She has been placed on administrative leave by the school district.

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