Court reverses Columbia County teacher sex ruling

Monday, June 15, 2009 9:14 AM
Last updated 11:34 AM
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In a 5-to-2 vote, the Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed a ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals involving the issue of consent and a Columbia County teacher who was 28 when she was arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The Court of Appeals had upheld the Richmond County Superior Court’s ruling against Melissa Lee Chase, who was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years on probation.

“This appeal presents a straightforward question of law,” says today’s majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. “The question is whether, in November 2006, consent of the alleged victim was a defense.”

In today’s decision, the Supreme Court ruled it was a defense that should have been allowed at trial.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/15/09 - 03:34 pm
0
0
Good, now there's even less

Good, now there's even less restrictions on teachers in government schools. I guess the law involving student teacher relationships in Georgia is no longer relevant.

createyourfuture
68
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createyourfuture 06/15/09 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Chase will get a new trial.

Chase will get a new trial. Results of that trial may be the same, but perhaps not. We have laws and courts to ensure that the laws are followed and people are not wrongly convicted, i.e., Marcus Dixon and Genarlow Wilson.

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 06/15/09 - 04:45 pm
0
0
How do you assault someone

How do you assault someone without the proper equipment? Doesn't intercourse require that part also? So by Clinton's rules she didn't have sex with that girl.

LCC0256
863
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LCC0256 06/15/09 - 06:07 pm
0
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Leah Ward Sears...female

Leah Ward Sears...female judge who is the darling of the socialist democrats...the homosexual lobby just had another victory & that will be good for millions more in contributions to the democrat socialist party headed by pelosi & obama...this country is led by some truly sick people...the teacher that molested my child (consent or not) would have never seen another day...

edamrauer
0
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edamrauer 06/15/09 - 09:25 pm
0
0
This is wonderful and

This is wonderful and incredible news!!!! Congratulations Coach Chase!!!

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 06/15/09 - 09:38 pm
0
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The "crime" did not fit the

The "crime" did not fit the time. This was a clear case of key evidence not allowed for the defense and discrimination based on gender. Whether y'all like it or not, being a lesbian is not a crime. I bet a lot of you would be surprised at what your teens are up to in regard to who is persuing whom. Trying the same sex is the in thing. I'm not saying it is right but y'all need to wake up and smell the coffee. The parent didn't know the daughter was gay? Get real. So I guess if the young lady has sex with a woman who was NOT her teacher it would have been ok?

edamrauer
0
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edamrauer 06/15/09 - 09:43 pm
0
0
Coach Chase should have been

Coach Chase should have been able to use consent as a defense in her case. She was NOT this girls teacher or her coach. The girls parents ALLOWED them to spend time together. The age of consent in Georgia is 16. Don't tell me this girl didn't know what she was doing. She new exactly how to seduce someone. She did it, she admitted to it. Melissa served enough time for this crime IN prison and will continue to serve time out of prison as well. Let's not persecute her any further. I wish her well in her endeavors and her life. I know she has strong family and friend support. Thank God for that.

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 06/15/09 - 11:30 pm
0
0
No she took advantage of a

No she took advantage of a CHILD. Would you be so quick to defend if it was a male teacher instead? I don't care if she is straight or gay. She should have said NO! End of story.

cajunnana2000
2
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cajunnana2000 06/16/09 - 12:56 am
0
0
I just love the way most of

I just love the way most of your are defending the 16 yr old(saying "She was a child") Now what about 16 year olds in other crimes do we still say he/she is a child and send them back to their parents. Come on get real people. I feel the teacher should lose her job but not be imprisoned. What you do after work with a consenting adult is no reason to be imprisoned.

champagne
0
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champagne 06/16/09 - 05:45 am
0
0
Why is it when it comes to

Why is it when it comes to sex, so many say 16 years old is a child and does not know enough to consent but then if a 16 year old commits murder, whoa, he/she knows exactly what they are doing and should be tried and convicted as an adult. We can't have it both ways.

edamrauer
0
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edamrauer 06/16/09 - 06:02 am
0
0
GnipGnop... it's too bad you

GnipGnop... it's too bad you feel that way. She didn't take advantage of anyone. That 16 year old WOMAN consented to having sexual relations with a 28 year old WOMAN. In Georgia, check the law. 16 is of LEGAL age. And it wouldn't matter if it was a male teacher or gay or straight.. that 16 year old WOMAN seduced a 28 year old woman and they had CONSENTUAL sex. No one knows Coach Chase's background story or that young womans and it's no ones business. Losing her job and being unable to teach is enough punishment. Jailtime was unecessary. 3 years of her life she'll not ever be able to get back. A shame!!!!

corgimom
41317
Points
corgimom 06/16/09 - 10:51 am
0
0
I hold a 28 year old adult,

I hold a 28 year old adult, who has been specifically told of the penalties for having a relationship with a student, to a higher standard than a 16 year old. What did Chase think was going to happen? She knew that she would lose her career, and she went ahead and did it anyway. That was her choice. I just don't understand that kind of foolish behavior. And if she has a relationship with a 16 year old, what was to stop her from having a relationship with a 14 year old or a 15 year old? When parents send their children to school, they should have the right to expect that their childrens' teachers will not try to have sex with them. What was that woman THINKING?

edamrauer
0
Points
edamrauer 06/16/09 - 11:38 am
0
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Corgi.. for God's sake..

Corgi.. for God's sake.. she's NOT a child molestor!!!!!! despite what the closed minded people in Georgia think.. she's not. You're right, it was her choice but 16 is the consentual age for having sex in Georgia and that 16 year old WOMAN consented to having sex with that 28 year old WOMAN! You don't like the law? Fight to change it. Until that changes, there's nothing you or anyone in Georgia can do about it.

corgimom
41317
Points
corgimom 06/16/09 - 01:26 pm
0
0
No, she's not a child

No, she's not a child molester, any more than a prison guard is a molester or a psychiatrist is a child molester. It's not about child molestation. It's about misuse of authority. It's about an unequal balance of power. It's about a teacher that doesn't have boundaries or good judgment. It's about a teacher who doesn't have the good sense to tell that girl to leave her property and not come back. It's about a teacher, who the parents trusted with their child, and who violated that trust. It's about a teacher who used her job to have an affair with a student. It's about a teacher who used her job to exploit a 16 year old. She is a disgrace to the teaching profession. And she knew exactly what she was doing and what the penalties would be, and she did it anyway. And I would feel the same way about a heterosexual relationship between any teacher and any student. Children go to school to be educated, not to have affairs with teachers.

edamrauer
0
Points
edamrauer 06/16/09 - 05:26 pm
0
0
Corgi.. all I'll say is this.

Corgi.. all I'll say is this. You are dead wrong. Check the law. That 16 year old WOMAN knew what she was doing, too. Coach Chase didn't use her authority to sleep with that 16 year old WOMAN. But, believe what you will. It's your opinion. We all know what opinions are.. and everybody has one. As I said before, I'm glad that Coach Chase is out of prison. I'm happy for her family and her friends and I will stand by her side no matter what. She has many, many people on her side.

corgimom
41317
Points
corgimom 06/16/09 - 06:22 pm
0
0
Sure, so she can prey on

Sure, so she can prey on another teenager. Well-adjusted mature adults do not want to engage in romantic relationships with high school sophomores. They find 16 year olds immature. While she may be your friend, she is deeply immature and lacks the ability to predict the consequences of her behavior- or just doesn't care. You go right ahead and stand beside her, because it will happen again. The sad part is that she put all her family and friends through this ordeal- and for what? An affair with a schoolgirl?

edamrauer
0
Points
edamrauer 06/17/09 - 05:45 am
0
0
Corgi... closed mindedness

Corgi... closed mindedness is a disease. It's a good thing it's curable. There's hope for you.

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