'Teacher of the year' gets 38 years in prison in sex case - FOX 13 News

'Teacher of the year' gets 38 years in prison in sex case

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

With tears streaming down her face, teacher of the year Ethel Anderson told the judge she was not a sexual predator.

"I am ashamed and embarrassed to be standing in this courtroom and I keep telling myself this is not my life," Anderson said.

The mother of one told the judge she realizes now her life does have a purpose: to raise her daughter and to be grateful for everything she has.

"I share all this with you judge, in the hope that there is something you see in me, that I'm worthy of mercy," Anderson said.

Anderson was recently convicted of molesting one of her students. During the trial, the boy testified that she seduced him and the two ended up in a sexual relationship.

At one point, the victim, who was 12 years old at the time, tried to end it because he was tired of lying and hiding it from his mother.

"I didn't want to lose my virginity to a teacher," the boy testified.

At the sentencing, Anderson's father Jessie Harris told the judge his daughter's actions have devastated the entire family, but she is remorseful.

"If it was my choice, I would do her time for her. That's how much I love my daughter," Harris said.

The victim's mother wrote a letter to the judge expressing her pain and anger she feels towards Anderson.

"There were many times during this trial I could have gotten up to scream, yell and slap you and tear you apart with my bare hands," she wrote.

But the judge had the final say, calling Anderson a parents' worst nightmare.

He told her, if you have sex with a child, then expect to go to prison. And with that, he sentenced her to 38 years behind bars.


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PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Guilty verdict in teacher sex trial:
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/23465872/2013/09/18/guilty-verdict-in-teacher-sex-trial

 

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