Oklahoma school district pays compensation to family after English teacher was jailed over having sex with teen in school
Jennifer Caswell, 31, admitting having sex with the eight-grader in her classroom
In 2015, Caswell pled guilty to three counts of second-degree rape, two counts of enticing a child and one count of forcible sodomy
She was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years suspended back in 2015
The victim’s father sued the school district for allegedly covering up the crime
The family initially sought $1million in damages but eventually settled for $125,000
Speaking out: In May, Caswell appeared on the Dr Phil Show claiming that she was ‘not a rapist’.
Dr Phil :“Did you rape this child?”
Jennifer Caswell:“I’m not a rapist”
Middle school teacher Jennifer Caswell, 31, publicly admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old student and was sentenced to 10 years in prison back in May 2015.
The boy’s father filed a lawsuit alleging the school Hollis Middle School – had played a part in covering up the crime.
In the wake of the scandal if her illegal sexual contact with the 15-year-old student, the former middle school teacher was allowed to resign in 2014 from the Hollis school district with the understanding she could keep her teaching credentials, the student’s father alleged in court filings.
Caswell just was embarking on a career as a middle school English teacher under her married name, Jennifer Sexton.
Now, two years after the disgraced teacher was sentenced, the family have finally been compensated for the teenager’s strife.
The married teacher was caught in the never-ending stream of teacher-student sex scandals before she spoke out, appearing on the Dr Phil Show, claiming that she was ‘not a rapist’.
Dr Phil : Did you rape this child?
Jennifer Caswell: “I’m not a rapist”
But after rookie Middle school teacher Jennifer Caswell belatedly admitted ‘ I had sex with [the] student in my classroom,’ she got an unpleasant surprise.
Her lawyer said they had been expecting a sentence of no more than five years, She was slammed 15 years. Caswell, who has an eight-year-old son, will only become eligible for parole in six and a half years. She also has to register as sex offender.
Boxed in by evidence, the disgraced teacher admitted to having sex with her student while standing up in her classroom at Hollis Middle School, Oklahoma barely six weeks after she qualified for her professional licence.
Her stance while appearing on TV defied logic, because Caswell, admitted to Dr Phil that she did not tell the student to stop what he was doing, when he started having sex with her while she was standing up in the classroom. She felt unwanted in her 10-year marriage, Caswell said. She was flattered and came to enjoy the attention, flirting and compliments she received from the student
Jennifer Caswell, 31, a former Oklahoma middle school teacher, was sentenced to 15 years, with five years suspended, after pleading guilty to second-degree rape and other related charges stemming from her affair with a student. She was then known by her married name, Jennifer sexton
The victim’s family, who we are not identifying because the boy was a victim of a sex crime, allege he was told to keep his mouth shut about his relationship with Caswell.
She appeared on the Dr Phil Show claiming that she was ‘not a rapist’ and blamed the 15-year-old boy for making the first move.
Caswell, who was formerly known by her married name Sexton, said she was disgraced by her 10-year sentence and said: ‘I didn’t force anything. I didn’t manipulate. I didn’t take advantage.’
But Hollis Public Schools agreed to pay the six-figure sum to settle the claims made against them in relation to the illicit relationship.
It did not end without consequences for Caswell. Subsequently she lost her job and state teaching credentials, divorced, appeared on national TV with Dr Phil and become a convicted sex offender. She is serving jail time and will register as a sex offender, on release.
Jennifer Caswell before her arrest [left], in her mugshot[right], had just qualified for her licence weeks before she embarked on her foolhardy sexcapade
The disgraced teacher admitted to having sex with her student while standing up in her classroom at Hollis Middle School [photo], six weeks after she qualified for her profession
The boy’s parents said his life outside of school and his grades suffered as a result of the relationship and that he suffered emotional distress and humiliation when word got out to classmates.
Watts said: ‘The truth is that this has a terrible effect on a child.
‘You can expect in his future life that he will have a hard time with relationships.’
It was claimed the school allowed Caswell to resign so that she could keep her teaching credentials.
School attorney Andy Fugitt argued school officials notified police and the local district’s attorney’s office when Caswell resigned, and said the Oklahoma State Department of Education has the right to revoke a teacher’s credentials, not the school district.
‘The school district responded to the information it had — which was very limited — in an appropriate way,’ Fugitt told The Oklahoman.
In May 2015, Caswell appeared on the Dr Phil Show claiming that she was ‘not a rapist’ and blamed the 15-year-old boy for making the first move.
‘I didn’t force anything. I didn’t manipulate. I didn’t take advantage,’ she said at the time.
Harmon County District Judge Richard Darby sentenced Caswell to 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, for each of the six incidents involving sex with the teenager.
The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, totaling 10 years behind bars for the then 29-year-old divorced mother of one from Hollis.
‘I can’t say that we had ever considered it being that harsh,’ Caswell’s attorney, David Cummins, told the station NewsOK after the hearing.
Cummins said they had expected a maximum sentence of five years.
Caswell, whose son is now 8, will only become eligible for parole after serving six and a half years.
After her release, she will be required to register as a sex offender.
After Jennifer Caswell belatedly admitting ‘ I had sex with student in my classroom,’ she got an unpleasant surprise. Her lawyer said they had been expecting a sentence of no more than five years, She was slammed 15 years in June 2015. Caswell, who has an eight-year-old son, will only become eligible for parole after serving a minimum of six and a half years
In the wake of Caswell’s sentencing, the young victim’s mother said she felt the disgraced teacher’s punishment was fair.
The victim’s father initially sought $1million in damages after alleging that at least two people saw Caswell engaged in sexual acts with his son in her classroom.
After she resigned in April 2014 with her credentials intact, Caswell had sex with the boy in a vehicle, her house and the boy’s father’s house, according to prosecutors.
After the woman followed the 15-year-old 650 miles to Mississippi, where he had been sent to stay with his mother, the boy began cooperating with authorities.
During her appearance on the Dr Phil Show in May, Caswell suggested it was the boy’s persistence that led to them having sex in her classroom in April of 2014.
On May 19, 2015, Caswell appeared on an episode of the “Dr. Phil” show and admitted having sex with the student.
“I’m not a rapist,” she told the talk show host in the interview. “I didn’t force anything. I didn’t manipulate. I didn’t take advantage.”
Significantly as her attorney admitted, she was paid for her guest appearance.
She told Dr Phil: ‘He came in, I was working on things, he kept coming closer to me and I would kind of walk away to the other part, you know another room, another areas of the classroom and he just walked up to me and then he kissed me. And then it just kind of went from there.’
‘I was walking around the classroom straightening up the desks and he came and I guess it was standing up,’ Caswell said.
The 31-year-old admitted that she did not tell the student to stop what he was doing.
She said: ‘I kept on saying, ”No you know we can’t do this. No, no, no.”.
‘He wasn’t forcing me, I mean, I couldn’t easily just walked out of my classroom, but I didn’t.
‘But I was resisting because I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t.’
Caswell said that following sex with the student, she felt ‘terrified’.
‘I just couldn’t believe I had done something like that,’ she added.
Caswell claimed her failing marriage with her now ex-husband, as well as the culture in her small town, all contributed to the unlawful relationship.
She said: ‘I felt very unwanted by my husband. I was with him for ten years and I was never complimented. We never held hands or were physical.’
The former English teacher said she was flattered and came to enjoy the attention, flirting and compliments she received from the student.
She told Dr Phil: ‘He was very flirty and I should have put a stop to it and I didn’t. I wasn’t used to the attention.’
After Caswell resigned April 7, 2014, authorities say she continued to have sex with the boy in her parked vehicle, her house and the boy’s father’s house. When the father found out Caswell had been visiting his home while he was away for work, he arranged for his son to visit the boy’s mother in Mississippi for the summer.
The enamored teacher drove 650 miles to pick up her former student and was arrested at a motel.
Following Caswell’s arrest in Mississippi, the boy began cooperating with investigators.
In June 2015 Caswell, pled guilty to three counts of second-degree rape, two counts of enticing a child and one count of forcible sodomy.