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The Arkansas Supreme Court has dismissed the sexual assault convictions of a former Elkins teacher, finding by a 4 3 margin that a state law criminalizng sexual contact between teachers and students over the age of 18 is unconstitutional.
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there will be nothing to prevent sexual contact between high school teachers and enrolled students who have turned 18," Brown wrote. "This will cause significant disruption in our high schools and have a deleterious impact on education in general."
Arkansas Supreme Court strikes down teacher
Pashcal also pleaded guilty last year to pleaded guilty to a felony charge of first degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
Justice Paul E. Danielson, Associate Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson and Associate Justice Donald L. Corbin wrote the majority opinion.
Arkansas' age of legal consent for sex is 18, or 16 as long as the other party is no older than 20,
"Regardless of how we feel about Paschal's conduct, which could correctly be referred to as reprehensible, we cannot Outlet Mens Lacoste Polo Shirts abandon our duty to uphold the rule of law when a case presents distasteful facts," Hannah wrote in the majority opinion.
Another of Paschal's former students, a teenage boy, testified that Paschal asked him to convey the message that he would give his accuser several thousand dollars if she dropped the charges against him.
The justices ruled that there was enough evidence to convict Paschal of the charge, but found that Storey erred when he did not allow jurors to hear evidence that Paschal's father and the boy's father had been involved in a lawsuit in 2009 which Paschal's father lost.
In that case, he was sentenced to six years in prison with two years suspended.
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One of Paschal's former students testified at trial that in December 2009 when she was 18 and still a student at Elkins High School, she and Paschal began a consensual sexual relationship that lasted until the following April.
The Supreme Court also remanded Paschal's conviction for bribing a witness Thursday.
A jury convicted David Paschal, 38, of four counts of second degree sexual assault and one count of bribing a witness following a trial last year. Circuit Judge William Storey sentenced Paschal to serve 30 years in prison.
Under Arkansas law, a teacher is prohibited from a sexual relationship with a student younger than 21, but the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that law infringes on the sexual privacy of consenting adults.
Associate Justice Karen Baker, Associate Justice Jim Gunter and Associate Justice Robert L. Brown dissented.
He was initially charged with second degree sexual assault in connection with reports he groped teenage girls at parties where alcohol was served, but prosecutors dropped that charge to focus on accusations Paschal served high school students alcohol during parties at his home, then let them drive away.
Paschal challenged the state's law about teacher student relationships before his trial, but the Supreme Court rejected his argument without comment at that time.
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Correction:The original version of this story misstated the stances of Associate Justices Robert L. Brown and Paul E. Danielson. A quote from Brown was mistakenly attributed to Danielson. The errors have been corrected. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or Lacoste Glasses Black
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