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Being accused of a sex crime in Texas can have damaging effects

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In Texas, there are a number of things that may damage a person's reputation, personal relationships and the ability to find a job. Those who are accused of sex crimes, however, may be subjected to damage in all three areas, and more.

Earlier this month, a Texas middle school teacher, 39, turned herself in to authorities after allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a 17-year-old student. According to reports, the teacher is said to have had an improper relationship with the 17-year-old. After the school learned of the allegations, the teacher was put on leave.

The allegations are still under investigation, and more details surrounding the case are not yet available. There are, however, questions as to how the teacher knew the 17-year-old student, because she is an eighth grade social studies teacher.

In Texas, a person must be 17 years of age to consent to sexual intercourse. Although the minor, like the one in this case, meets the age requirement to consent, the age of the other partner may exceed the minor's age by only three years. Under the law specific to the teacher-student relationship, teachers allegedly involved with students face a second degree felony charge.

In addition to losing a job, someone facing charges like the teacher in this case may also face prison time and will be searchable within a sex offender registry, if convicted. A proper investigation and an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to locate weaknesses in the prosecution's versions of events or questions about police conduct. In any case, a zealous advocate can work towards an outcome that limits the damage suffered by those accused.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Middle School Teacher Sharon Hoskinson Accused Of Having Sex With Student," March 5, 2014

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