Sunday, March 27, 2016
Former married teacher, 33, found guilty of kidnapping his student, 17, to have sex despite her testimony in his defense
A married teacher was found guilty of kidnapping his 17-year-old student in order to have sex with her.
Jason Lofthouse, 33, of Las Vegas, Nevada was convicted after the jury deliberated for two hours over a statute that forbids an adult from enticing a minor in order to commit an unlawful act against him or her, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
The father of three will now be facing a minimum of 20 years in prison to a maximum of life, according to News 3.
The trial cantered on whether or not Lofthouse forced or coerced the student, who was 17 at the time, to perform sex acts on him in his classroom and have sex with him twice in hotels during school hours, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
'You can’t use the word ‘consensual’ as a defense, so you just have to go by the law,' Lewis said. 'As a teacher he should have known better.'
But the teenager, now 18, insisted to jurors at Clark County District Court that she wasn’t hoping for a better grade in the class and didn’t even consider her former teacher to be her boyfriend. Describing the relationship as ‘nothing serious’, she told the court: ‘I thought of it more as a thing. ‘I didn’t need a good grade. I wasn’t trying to get a better grade. I was just doing it because I wanted to.’
She insisted that both she and her teacher initiated physical contact – and that she never felt trapped when they visited two hotels for sex in May last year.
In Nevada, while the age of sexual consent is 16, state law forbids employees and volunteers at schools from engaging in sexual contact with students.
The student told jurors that she did not get her parents’ permission to visit the hotels – which is important in relation to the kidnapping charges it is a first-degree felony to take a minor somewhere without parental permission and commit a crime against the minor.
Lewis and other jurors agreed that the kidnapping statue was 'too broad' and that it should be re-worded despite finding him guilty.
Lofthouse is due back in court for sentencing on May 17.