LAS VEGAS WORLD NEWS EXCLUSIVE — It appears that the double standard is alive and well and even thriving in Las Vegas. Especially for female teachers guilty of sex crimes with students.
There have been two recent high profile cases of female teachers guilty of sex crimes with students.
Although there have been a number of cases in Las Vegas of teachers, both male and female, who have been arrested for having sexual relationships with students the female teachers guilty of sex crimes really stand out because of the media attention their cases receive and because of the gentle treatment they receive.
Although technically sexual predators, female teachers guilty of sex crimes, that happen to be young and attractive women, do not seem to be viewed as a threat to the children they prey upon.
The male teachers accused and arrested for having inappropriate relationships with students are largely viewed unfavorably and referred to as perverts and sexual deviants, while the female teachers guilty of sex crimes, or even simply accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student, are portrayed in a more favorable light,
For parents, the very real possibility that their child may be preyed upon by a teacher, an educator entrusted with the care of their child, is frightening.
The majority of parents that we spoke to said that it didn’t matter whether or not the teacher was male or female.
Overall they want to see both male and female teachers guilty of sex crimes to be treated the same.
They said that both male and female teachers guilty of sex crimes erode the trust they have in the school system. The parents we interviewed shared concerns that many other parents can identify with. Parents want to feel confident that their child in safe at school and not in danger of being lured into an illicit relationship.
Lana who doesn’t want her last name publicized is the mother of a 16-year-old boy who attends high school in Las Vegas. She said that her son, a straight A student, is shy and appears to be “infatuated” with one of his female teachers.
When Lana met the teacher she said she was shocked that the teacher looked so young and thought that she could easily pass for a student.
When asked if that concerned her, she said that it did not because the teacher was very professional.
Lana did say that her son has had only “school girlfriends” and she believed he could easily be persuaded to engage in a sexual relationship if the teacher was the aggressor.
A relationship that she said her son is not ready to have, not to mention illegal.
Is there a disparity based upon the sex of the teacher? Lana thought so. She said that because female teachers guilty of sex crimes receive “favorable treatment” other female teachers may not be apprehensive about starting a relationship with a student.
Brendan, a single father to a strapping 17-year-old athletic son who attends a magnet school in Las Vegas, was not as concerned with the possibility that a female teacher may initiate a sexual relationship with his son. Brendan said his son is already, “very popular with the girls,” and that he was confident that this son could “handle it”.
Asked if he would feel the same way if he had a 17-year-old daughter who might be the target of an older male teacher’s affections Brendan admitted that he would feel very differently and said after he confronted the teacher and, “punched him out,” he would immediately contact authorities and have the teacher arrested.
The views expressed by Brendan appear to be more inline with views shared by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the judges that administer the rulings for female teachers guilty of sex crimes.
When female teachers guilty of sex crimes are arrested there are usually a lot of “I’m sorry’s” and tears.
Some, like Amanda Brennan, a former Henderson high school teacher even claim to have fallen in love with the much younger student that they had a relationship with.
Brennan engaged in a relationship with a 15-year-old male student. They exchanged thousands of text messages. She picked him up in her car at his home and spend time alone with him, yet she insists that they only kissed. Brennan faced serious charges of luring a child and contributing to the delinquency of a child. Her attorney said she was “naive” and she received a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of five years of probation. And, after successful completion of her probation, Brennan will be provided with the opportunity to have her felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.
The media seemed to make light of Brennan’s sentence. Headlines expressing shock that a teacher received probation for “kissing a student” were in the forefront instead of the fact that a teacher broke the law and betrayed the trust bestowed upon them.
Female teachers guilty of sex crimes can damage a child’s emotional well-being as much as a male teacher can.
The latest female teacher arrested for having an inappropriate, and illegal, relationship with a student is Tanikka Queen, 22. The attractive, former substitute teacher engaged in a relationship with a 15-year-old male student. Queen and her student lover exchanged thousands of text messages.
The 15-year-old had come home with a hickey after spending time with Queen. She reportedly admitted to having sex with the student, and the content of the text messages exchanged between the pair made it very clear that Queen knew her actions were wrong.
She initially was charged with over 40 counts related to her illegal relationship with a student.
That was before she cut a deal.
Charges against Tanikka Queen have been whittled down, and the former teacher now faces two felonies. In addition, her bail was cut in half and she is out of jail on house arrest.
The young teacher has already granted interviews.
While she admitted that she was wrong she also made sure that she publicly blamed others for her actions. Queen said that she did not receive guidance on interacting with students and that she was just expected to figure things out on her own.
Her attorney and family have portrayed her as just an immature, sheltered young girl who simply did not know any better. Using carefully crafted wording they have essentially and disgustingly attempted to shift the blame to the 15-year-old boy who her attorney said appears to be “sophisticated”.
Perhaps their strategy is to win over the public and garner public support before Queen’s sentencing hearing scheduled in September.
Based upon the deal she cut and the slap-on-the-wrist sentence Amanda Brennan received it is highly probable that Queen will receive a sentence of probation.
Although female teachers guilty of sex crimes in Las Vegas seem to receive light sentences for their crimes, it is worth noting that their male counterparts, at times, receive completely inconsistent treatment with no apparent rhyme or reason as to how the punishment, or lack thereof, is metered out.
One thing that appears to be somewhat consistent in the treatment of predatory teachers of any sex is that the older the teacher is the harsher the sentence.
While the young and attractive female teachers guilty of sex crimes blame the minor students or even their supposed sheltered lifestyle for their predatory actions, male teachers that are fairly young sometime receive a mere slap-on-the-wrist for their predatory, illegal actions.
Two former teachers Bambi Dewey, 32, and her boyfriend John Stalmach, 31, were arrested in 2012, for smoking pot and having sex, separately and together, with a 16-year-old student.
The community was both appalled and stunned when all charges were dropped against Dewey and Stalmach because the student was a “prior” student of theirs. When they were having sex and smoking pot with the student they had already transferred to other schools, and the student was “technically” not their student.
Although it was not a shock that Dewey got off scot-free because female teachers guilty of sex crimes appear to be held to a different standard that their male counterparts it was surprising that Stalmach was not charged.
He had been previously investigated and suspended after he texted a student and sent pornographic images. No charges were ever brought against him and he was simply transferred to another school.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson said,
As much as I was personally troubled by their conduct, we can only charge what we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
Two years later the DA seems to have applied a completely different rule set against a Las Vegas teacher arrested last year in a case that bore striking similarities to the Stalmach case.
Melyvn Sprowson, 45, was arrested in December 2013, for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student that he met online.
The 16-year-old was not a student of Sprowson’s. They did not meet through school channels nor did the 16-year-old attend the same school where he taught kindergarten. Police have repeatedly said that the girl was a willing participant.
Sprowson and Stamlach each had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. Both men did not have a current school relationship with the student. Both men had been investigated in the past for sex crimes or inappropriate behavior with students and both men were not charged in those prior cases.
Those similarities will certainly come up in some form during Sprowson’s legal proceedings, particularly since the 16-year-old is of legal age to consent in Nevada. Although there are circumstances that prohibit student teacher relationships for someone that is age 16, it will certainly be argued that those provisions are not applicable.
Stalmach had all charges against him dropped and his case was handled similar to the way cases against young and attractive female teachers guilty of sex crimes are handled. The substantially older Sprowson remains incarcerated at the CCDC and faces life in prison.
There are numerous inconsistencies in the treatment that teachers of any sex receive for having unlawful relationships with students and minor. Still, the female teachers guilty of sex crimes are viewed as somehow less threatening and predatory than their male counterparts especially if they possess a youthful appearance.