Government SPLOST 7 | | | Editor

Bill to outlaw student-teacher sex passes House committee

  • Follow Government

ATLANTA - A bill that would close a loophole and outlaw sex between teachers and willing teenage students passed in a House committee this morning and is on its way for a vote before the full House next week.
The action by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee was just in time because an internal deadline spells the death of bills that haven't received committee approval by Tuesday.
The legislation, House Bill 897 by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, was prompted by a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court in the appeal of an Augusta case. The court reversed the conviction of Melissa Chase, a teacher at Harlem High School, who had sex once with a girl who was 16 at the time. The girl's parents called police when they found out, and Chase was convicted last April.
In a 5-2 decision, the high court decided that the law prohibiting sex between students and teachers did not specifically rule out the student's consent as a legal defense. Other parts of the same law dealing with prisoners and guards or psychiatrists and patients, for example, did specify that consent between the partners could never be used as a legal defense.
Augusta prosecutors tried to convince the high court that common sense would suggest that legislators originally intended to prohibit sex between teachers and students under any circumstances. But Chase's attorney countered that some students are not only old enough to legally give their consent to sex, as was the 16-year-old, but that college students, for example, are often adults.
Today, the committee approved Collins' bill with a wording change to limit it to students in high school or younger, but there was no discussion or opposition.
Since the Supreme Court's decision, other teachers have used the student's willingness as their defense.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
themaninthemirror 03/19/10 - 12:43 pm
Sex between two consenting

Sex between two consenting young ladies should never be questioned.

lieutenantkitten 03/19/10 - 02:16 pm
I had no idea this needed to

I had no idea this needed to be outlawed.

corgimom 03/19/10 - 07:39 pm
It will be declared

It will be declared un-Constitutional. Try telling college students, who are of age and are not in a prisoner or patient relationship, that they can't date whom they please- when many college instructors are grad students.

crackerjack 03/19/10 - 10:06 pm
Corgimom........Next to last

Corgimom........Next to last paragraph states..
Today, the committee approved Collins' bill with a wording change to limit it to students in high school or younger, but there was no discussion or opposition.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Early voting in Augusta-area shows increase
Area early voting numbers are dwarfing turnout four years ago, particularly in Republican-leaning Columbia County, and forecast apossible record voting year for the Augusta area.