He went to police in 2007 after being expelled; later he claimed the relationship left him depressed and suicidal.
The victim, now in his 20s, said a psychiatrist helped him understand he’d missed out on normal dating rituals.
The couple, who would have two children and marry, turned their “illicit love” into an industry with a tabloid-ready happy ending: , and hosted “Hot for Teacher Night” at a Seattle club.
Media, along with screenwriters, are complicit in shaping attitudes, says Shoop, who points to criminal behaviour being referred to as a “steamy affair,” or rape referred to as an “inappropriate relationship.” It’s a confusion writ large culturally: Netﬂix categorizes —a very bad movie about a sexual relationship between an unhinged young female high school teacher and her male student—under “romance.” Over the past year, we’ve seen a barrage of allegations and stories involving female teachers having sex with students.
Female teachers who sexually exploit students, usually male, is one of three known categories of female sexual offender, Cortoni says.
(Others are women who sexually abuse a child or teenager with another adult, often a partner, and women who abuse young children, usually under their care.) Female sexual offenders have always existed but have not been studied until recently, says Cortoni, the co-editor of , published in 2010.
“They don’t ﬁt with society’s views of what women are supposed to be like.” They comprise only four to ﬁve per cent of all sex offenders, she reports; women were behind one to two per cent of all sexual crimes reported to police in Canada between 20.
A male having sex with a minor child is recognized as a horror, which of course it is, he says.
Ralph’s feelings for the boy grew out of a desire to help others, the court heard; she equated her feelings with “young love,” and she connected with the boy better than she did with her husband of more than 20 years.
Crown counsel David Simpkin presented a more nefarious scenario: “[Ralph] appears to be bored, looking for some spice in her life and chose the victim,” he said.
Yet a cultural double standard persists in attitudes toward and legal treatment of male and female teachers who sexually exploit students. C., elementary school teacher, avoided jail after pleading guilty to sexual interference with a student who was 11 when a three-year relationship began in 1998; Ralph was 44.
The Crown called for three years incarceration for “egregious breach of trust.” Ralph received 18 months house arrest, six months curfew and community service.