A teacher in Broward, Florida, has been sentenced to three years in prison in lieu of a lifetime on the registered sex offenders list. Kristen Nicole Sullivan (27) was formerly a teacher at Lauderhill Middle School. She entered a no contest plea to aggravated child abuse.
Formally, Sullivan was sentenced to 30 years in prison each for two aggravated child abuse counts and 15 years on each aggravated battery count. The judge said that this sentence will be applied if she does not turn herself in on 3rd January.
In April 2010, Sullivan was arrested when a student claimed he had had a year long relationship with the teacher. The boy’s girlfriend had found incriminating text messages on his cell phone. The teacher had given her student the phone as a gift on his 14th birthday.
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The boy’s girlfriend told police that the text message read, “I'm tired of being the one chasing you”. Another read “Why are you ignoring me?"
On 19th April the police monitored a telephone call between Sullivan and the children. The sexual nature of the relationship was confirmed. She was arrested the next day.
Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, her lawyer, Bradford Cohen said “it was a serious lapse in judgment" on her part.
Sullivan will also serve five years probation following her jail term during which time she will not be permitted to teach children.