A 32-year-old Texan teacher has faced court after admitting to having sex with a 13-year-old male student in her classroom.
Marka Bodine was arrested and charged in April last year after being accused of sexually assaulting the student over three years, local publication KPRC reports.
The inappropriate relationship came to light when Ms Bodine, who has since pleaded guilty, told the principal at Tomball Intermediate School, north of Houston, that a former student was harassing her, according to court documents seen by the publication.
She claimed the then 16-year-old boy had accessed her private photos and manipulated them.
But when police searched Ms Bodine’s phone and the boy’s phone, they found the pair had exchanged multiple messages and photos — some of them sexually explicit in nature, KPRC reports.
Court documents state that Ms Bodine befriended the boy, who was in her sixth grade class, by playing Fortnite and later asked for his phone number.
The student told police she began texting him and they started having sex soon after he turned 13, including in her classroom and the teacher’s car.
The three-year relationship escalated after Ms Bodine moved into the teen’s apartment complex following her divorce, court documents say.
Police say the 32-year-old eventually admitted to having sex with the student.
Student says relationship 'ruined' him
During her sentencing on Tuesday, Ms Bodine’s former student told the court he had started to “love her in a way” because he’d never had someone he could talk about his feelings with, the Houston Chronicle reports.
He said he didn’t realise he was being abused until after Ms Bodine ended their relationship just before he turned 16 and he struggled to cope.
“It ruined me,” he told the court.
The teen also recalled how during one of their sexual encounters he sat in a chair and noticed his feet didn’t reach the ground, the publication reports.
Despite prosecutors asking for a 20 to 40-year jail sentence, Ms Bodine was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years probation with deferred adjudication and 60 days in jail, which will be delayed so she can spend time with her three-month-old child.
She will also have to register as a sex offender.
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