11 Whittier J. Child. & Fam. Advoc. 353 (2011-2012)
Bad Bad Teacher: How Judicial Lenience, Cultural Ignorance, and Media Hype have Inevitably Lead to Lighter Sentences, Underreporting and Glamorization of Female Sex Offenders

handle is hein.journals/wjcfad11 and id is 363 raw text is: BAD BAD TEACHER!: HOW
JUDICIAL LENIENCE,
CULTURAL IGNORANCE, AND
MEDIA HYPE HAVE
INEVITABLY LEAD TO
LIGHTER SENTENCES,
UNDERREPORTING AND
GLAMORIZATION OF FEMALE
SEX OFFENDERS
STEPHANIE S. REID*
I. INTRODUCTION
Today's headlines are often replete with sensationalized stories of
female teachers engaging in physical relationships with students.
Headlines such as: Mary Kay LeTourneau: Love or Criminal
Offense?' or Crossing the Line: A Beautiful Blonde 23-year-
old.... seduced a 14-year-old boy2 infiltrate television and news
articles. A criminal defense attorney in one notorious case even
implied his client was too pretty to go to jail.3 Unfortunately, this
double standard in society has inevitably influenced notable double
* Stephanie S. Reid is a 2010 graduate of Regent Univeristy School of Law. She is
currently admitted to practice law in Maryland and Delaware.
1. Predator or Lover? (MSNBC television broadcast July 4, 2006).
2. Crossing the Line: Matt Lauer Sits Down With Notorious Teacher Debra
Lafave (Dateline NBC television broadcast Sept. 13, 2006).
3. Daniel Ruth, Fitzgibbons Did His Client No Favors, TAMPA TRIBUNE, July 22,
2005, at 2. (Attorney Fitzgibbons remarked [t]o place [the offender] into a Florida
state women's penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole
is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions.)

353

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