Portland, Tennessee high school math teach Sandy Binkley was convicted of statutory rape back in September. The 37-year-old woman had sex with a 17-year-old student in a locker room.
Binkley argued that the 17-year-old student raped her. She gave an interview to Tennessee News Channel 5 before her trial:
“There was one incident with one student – who was a month away from being 18. He was bigger than me and he forced himself on me,” said Binkley. “He came into the room and forced himself upon me.”
The jury didn’t buy it.
On Friday, Binkley was sentenced. And man, the judge essentially put her behind bars and threw away the key. The Tennessean reports:
A former Portland High School teacher convicted of having sex with her underage teacher’s aide has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
District Attorney Ray Whitley said Sandy Binkley “got what she had coming to her.”
“(Judge Dee Gay) gave her the maximum sentence and that’s what she deserved,” Whitley said.
The woman got 12 years — the maximum sentence — for having sex with a 17-year-old? Really? Does that make sense to everybody here?
Binkley’s lawyers (obviously) feel the judge went a little overboard. Details after the jump.
Binkley’s lawyers intend to appeal the sentence:
David Ridings, Binkley’s attorney, said it was the most egregious abuse of justice in sentencing that he has ever seen. “We hoped that (the judge) would follow the law. He failed miserably at that,” Ridings said.
Binkley’s attorney had hoped the former teacher would be sentenced to no more than three years. He plans to appeal.
“It ain’t over, baby,” Ridings said to Whitley as they exited the courtroom. “It’s just starting.”
But the judge felt children needed to be protected:
The judge said it didn’t matter if the children involved were 7 or 17, they were entitled to protection at school.
Sorry Judge, but it matters. It matters a great deal. Having sex with a 7-year-old and having sex with a 17-year-old are two entirely different things. They just are. Maybe they are both crimes — we can debate the common sense behind brightline statutory rape laws at a different point. But you can’t say that you need to throw the book at a woman who boinks a 17-year-old “young man” in order to protect a 7-year-old from bad touches. Judges are given sentencing discretion for a reason, but it appears that in this case, reason failed.
And notice, I’m not playing the “female teacher bangs male student = kind of hot” card. If we are going to say that it is criminal for teachers to nail students, then it is criminal no matter the gender match-up.
But let’s be reasonable. Nothing magical happens to your genitals between the ages of 17 and 18. We’re dealing with an arbitrary line here. I just don’t see how you get 12 years for getting nailed by a 17-year-old in a locker room.
Statutory Rape – Or A Victim In Her Own Classroom? [News Channel 5]
Teacher sex case nets 12-year prison sentence [Tennessean]
Hot for Teacher! [Bad Lawyer]