A former Oklahoma teacher, Jennifer Caswell was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay $1 million for having a sexual relationship with a teenage student.
The former student, who was 15 years-old at the time o the crime, and his father sued Caswell and the Hollis School District in 2015 over the sexual relationship.
The school district agreed to pay $125,000 to settle claims that the school participated in covering up the sexual abuse.
The Oklahoman reports:
An Oklahoma City federal judge has ruled that a teenage boy’s emotional distress from a highly publicized sexual relationship with his English teacher is worth $1 million.
U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron awarded the judgment against former middle school teacher Jennifer Caswell, 31.
The boy and his father sued Caswell and the small western Oklahoma school district of Hollis in 2015 over the inappropriate relationship, which included sex in her classroom.
“(The boy) reports feelings of depression, isolation, and self-blame for the events that transpired,” Cauthron wrote. “He experienced humiliation when members of his community publicly chastised him and when strangers recognized him and questioned him about the scandal.”
The Oklahoman is not identifying the boy or his family, because he is the victim of a sex crime.
The judgment was awarded to the boy for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Cauthron awarded no damages to the boy’s father.
Bob Wyatt, an attorney for the boy and his father, said his clients wanted to sue to bring attention to the problem of sexual abuse by teachers.
“We are pleased that the judge considered the outrageous behavior of the teacher and are pleased with the fact that the judge sent a message to teachers and schools across the state of Oklahoma that sexual abuse of a child by a teacher will not be condoned,” Wyatt said.
Caswell was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sex crimes in 2015, following a television appearance on the “Dr. Phil” talk show to discuss her illicit relationship with the boy.
Watch the video from Dr. Phil:
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