Stacy Schuler has been sentenced to four years in jail after a judge rejected her insanity defense. She was convicted on 16 counts of sexual battery for having sexual relations with five of her former students. The former gym and health teacher had sex with some of her now former students, some of whom were football players, at the school in suburban Cincinnati where she taught beginning in 2000.
While the students were above the age of consent, it is illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student.
Her lawyers defender her actions claiming that it stemmed from her vegan diet, the use of antidepressants, blackouts from alcohol, and even irritable bowel syndrome. They claimed all of these made it hard for her to determine right from wrong. At least they did not claim that she was smoking pot heavily like Linda Wall has claimed was behind her sexual molestation of a girl in the 1970′s.
Several students testified on Schuler’s behalf, but the defense’s actions prompted the judge hearing the case to say that it would be a “magnificent leap” to believe that Schuler had no idea her actions were wrong. Warren County Common Please Judge Robert Peeler stated “This is a noble profession that you have, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about you, but I know that you had the opportunity, as all teachers do, to affect the lives of our children. You crossed a line.”
Parents of the victims also had some harsh words for the woman who exhibited classic sexual predator behavior. One of the victim’s mothers stated “She groomed these boys, she took advantage of their vulnerabilities she crossed the line and it is unacceptable.”
Schuler was arrested for inappropriate behavior with students after an anonymous tip. Beyond the sexual encounters, she shared alcohol and marijuana with the student. One of her victims said in court that “We had no idea that this was going to happen, and we’re like what is going on? We think she wants to have sex with us. She started giving us all back massages. She like gave us all each individually … we all took our shirts off and she was just rubbing down our backs.”
Schuler did not testify at her trial, but pled not guilty by reason of insanity. According to ABC News “defense team arguing that her mental illness and a mix of anti-depressants and alcohol impaired her ability to tell right from wrong. She claims to have no memory of the incidents.”
Harry Plotnick, the defense team’s toxicologist, testified that “The combined effects of the use of Zoloft and moderate to heavy alcohol consumption are consistent with abhorrent behavior described as well as the memory lapses.”
The prosecution, though, stated that Schuler knew what she was doing, and even explained that she knew how to protect herself if she was caught. One student stated in court that “She told me that if anybody ever found out that she already had her defense planned out and she would try and say that she was insane.”
One of the victim’s fathers testified at the trial regarding how Schuler’s actions affected his son He stated “He suffered from depression, loss of motivation … almost didn’t go to college — he was angry at home and he didn’t want to be around family or anyone — my son was not who he used to be.”
The verdict was reached in 45 minutes Schuler will be listed as a sexual offender when she gets out of jail.