A Texas teacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old male student and then having an abortion to cover it up was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty.
The New York Daily News reports Alexandria M. Vera, 24, faced up to 30 years in prison based on the sexual abuse charges, but her sentence was reduced to 10 years because she pleaded guilty. She will be eligible for parole after five years, according to the report.
Vera allegedly had an on-going relationship with the 13-year-old student while she was teaching eighth-grade English at Stovall Middle School near Houston, Texas.
In June, Vera turned herself into police after investigators uncovered evidence of her sexual relationship with the boy. According to court documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Vera said she and the boy were in love and began having sex in September 2015.
Vera told authorities that the boy’s parents accepted their relationship and were excited when they learned that she was pregnant. However, she reportedly decided to abort the baby when authorities began to ask questions, according to court documents.
Here’s more from the Daily News:
State District Judge Michael McSpadden said the decade behind bars was needed to send a message.
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A therapist spoke on Vera’s behalf Friday and said that she was in love with the student, who reportedly looked older than 13, and was not a “traditional pedophile.”
According to reports, the boy, now 14, is in foster care, and his parents have been ordered to attend parenting classes and therapy.
The Washington Post reported Vera admitted to having sex with the boy “on almost a daily basis,” after their relationship began in 2015. She said they met during summer school, and the boy asked to follow her on Instagram. Vera told police that she initially resisted the boy’s request; but when he did not show up to class one day, she sent him an Instagram message, which led to them having sex.
Students also reported seeing Vera and the boy flirt during school, and on one occasion, the boy was seen grabbing Vera’s bottom, according to the report.
Unborn babies often are second victims in sexual abuse cases.
In an Ohio case, a 14-year-old girl was impregnated by her 22-year-old soccer coach, a man who she and her parents trusted. He took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. The coach later was convicted of sexual assault, and the abortion facility faced a lawsuit for failing to report the sexual abuse of the girl, LifeNews reported.
Planned Parenthood abortion clinics have come under fire countless times over the years for not reporting cases of statutory rape to authorities as required by state law. In September 2015, Alliance Defending Freedom released a report detailing multiple instances of Planned Parenthood performing abortions on sexually abused minors and failing to report them to authorities. Affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America instead accepted money for the abortions and allowed the rapists to roam free without any notification to the proper authorities.