In what is beginning to seem like a common occurrence these day, a 27-year-old Nebraska teacher was jailed for 90 days after it was discovered that she’d had sex with one of her 16-year-old students on his birthday. The judge only sentenced the married teacher to 90 days because 16 is the age of consent in Nebraska.
Emily Lofing was teaching at a Nebraska City Middle School in Weeping Water when her misconduct was discovered by the victim’s mother.
According to WOWT, the boy’s mother sent an email to local authorities in July 2016, which outlined her suspicion that the recently married teacher had had sex with her son. The language arts teacher was placed on leave after an investigation ensued.
After a brief investigation, it was found that Lofing did indeed have a sexual relationship with one of her students. Lofing then voluntarily surrendered her state teaching certificate and resigned.
In February, she was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, debauching a minor. The charge was later changed to contributing to the delinquency of a child since the boy had just reached the age of consent.
Lofing’s lawyer, Desirae Solomon, tried to claim that her client suffered a “mental breakdown,” which resulted in the inappropriate relationship. They also asked the judge to take into consideration Lofing’s family history of depression.
“That’s the tragedy of mental illness,” Solomon explained to the judge. “It doesn’t know demographics. It doesn’t know race. It doesn’t know age. It doesn’t know education, and, when mental illness strikes, it can sometimes do so without any warning.”
Solomon told the judge, “people who have known her for her whole entire life were shocked at this type of behavior,” KWBE reports.
When handing down the sentence Monday evening, Otoe County Court Judge John Steinheider mentioned the consent law when issuing the sentence. “This alleged indiscretion, I’ll say, took place on the victim’s 16th birthday,” the judge said. “You were less than 24 hours from a felony here.”
Lofing was then given the sentence of 90 days in jail, two years probation and 240 hours of community service, according to the Daily Mail.
The sentence was much more lenient than what Deputy Otoe County Attorney John Palmtag had asked for originally. He said he wanted to send a strong message that “we won’t tolerate predatory acts among students” and had hoped for the maximum jail sentence of 180 days.
If Lofing shows exemplary behavior while incarcerated, she could be released in as little as 53 days.