A legal double standard for men and women? - FOX 13 News

A legal double standard for men and women?

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Lauralee Beckham, a former exotic dancer and now sex offender, was sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty to sex with a minor.

It's the same courthouse where two weeks ago, teacher Michael Lander stripped down to underwear to defend himself.

It didn't work, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Tampa defense attorney Jeff Brown says there is a double standard.

"There is no question the same crime committed by both a male and a female, the woman is probably going to get a better sentence a better deal than the male will," Brown said.

Brown says there's a reason for it.

"I don't think we have to draw a line for women to date a 12 year old boy. I don't think women want to date 12 year old boys. I think it's more of a mental health issue. I think women don't need to know that's inappropriate," Brown said.

But licensed psychologist Jeremy Gaies say there are women predators, and they're just as dangerous.

"Even though they may be well be aware it's against the law and it's immoral and unethical, and they pursue a sexual relationship with that child.

Debra LaFave's attorney once said she was too pretty for prison, and she never spent a day prison, despite having sex with a student in her car, in her apartment, and in her classroom.

And last month, former teacher of the year Ethel Anderson was convicted for sex acts with a 12 year old student. He told the jury about it in court last month.

"She would rub on my legs and kiss on my ears stuff like that. It was living every student's dream," the boy said.

And that, Brown says, is part of the double standard.

"It's a badge of honor if you were gonna date your high school or college professor," Brown said.

Anderson has not been sentenced. She faces up 135 years in prison.

"Yeah, she's not going to get anything close to that," Brown said.

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