Rules professors dating students
The offense is a class E crime, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a establishes the crime of unlawful sexual touching.
The underlying crime applies when the person touched did not expressly or impliedly agree to the touching and is a class D crime.
However, it is also sexual abuse of a minor for a teacher or other educational staff member who is at least 21 to engage in a sexual act with a student who is 16 or 17.
The provision applies to sexual acts between students at public or private elementary, secondary, or special education institutions and to teachers, employees, and officials of schools, school districts, and other educational institutions.
Case law has found that the statute covers teachers and that the coercion can take the form of undue influence, threats, or physical force, among other things.
The crime is punishable by imprisonment for 10 to 20 years, a fine of up to ,000, or both., a person commits aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person when (1) the victim is under 13 years old; or (2) the victim is 13, 14, or 15 and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional, or occupational status.
The penalties for the proscribed behavior vary widely by state. Rhode Island prohibits (1) consensual sex between a minor between 14 and 16 and a person who is 18 or older and (2) sexual contact or penetration with a minor under 14 under any circumstances.
Other states, including Vermont, criminalize sexual acts with a person who is “entrusted to the actor's care by authority of law” (13 Vt. Among the states in other parts of the country with specific provisions dealing with teachers and students are Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington.
Under the same section, a person is guilty of sexual assault if the victim is 16 or 17 and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim “of any nature or in any capacity.” In the committee report that accompanied the legislation that added this phrase to the section and which is appended to the section, the Assembly Judiciary Committee noted that “the inclusion of this phrase is intended to clarify that in addition to parents, teachers, law enforcement officers, etc., this provision is intended to cover individuals with supervisory or disciplinary power in volunteer organizations.” By law, sexual assault is punishable by a fine of up to 0,000, imprisonment for five to ten years, or both.If the sexual contact involves penetration, it is a class C crime punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to ,000, or both.If the adult does not have authority over the student, but the adult is 21 or older, the contact is a class E crime, or a class D crime if the act involves penetration.The underlying crime of unlawful sexual contact applies when the person other than the actor has not expressly or impliedly acquiesced to the contact.The provisions dealing with students apply even if the student has consented to the contact.