Teacher’s marriage to student she’s accused of abusing results in dismissal of charges – the former Missouri teacher married her student lover to avoid jail
Former Sarcoxie High School teacher Baylee A. Turner, 26, was charged in February 2019 with having sexual contact with one of her male students
Months after the scandal broke in 2019, she wed her former student and welcomed the couple’s first child together in 2020
Turner, then 23-years-old, was a first year English teacher at the high school when a case arose that she had sexual intercourse with a student in January 2019
Both Turner and the student acknowledged that they had sex the week of January 14-21 in 2019 at Turner’s home, the student was 17 at the time
She was arrested the next month, and faced sexual assault charges, facing up to four years in prison
Prosecutors said that because the former student now, 22, is married to Turner, he has marital or spousal privilege and can no longer be compelled to testify against his wife
Turner had resigned her appointment and surrendered her state teaching license, which was revoked – a major goal for the prosecutors
The charge against a former Sarcoxie High School teacher for having alleged sexual contact with a student has been dismissed in light of their subsequent marriage and its impact on prosecution of the case.
The former Missouri high school teacher who admitted to having sex with her student, forced closure of the case after she married her young lover and gave birth to their child. Prosecutors now have dropped charges against Baylee A. Turner, 26, after she married the student she was accused of having sex with.
In February 2019, Turner – who was then 23 – was charged with having sexual contact with one of her male students following an investigation by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, the Joplin Globe reported.
Baylee Turner, who began teaching English at Sarcoxie, Missouri, in 2019 at 23, was charged that same year with having sexual relations with one of her male students, leading to her resignation.
The student, around 17 at the time of their first sexual contact, turned 18 before the Sarcoxie School District was aware of the situation.
Both Turner and the student acknowledged that they had sex the week of January 14-21 in 2019 at Turner’s home in Sarcoxie, about 260 miles southwest of St. Louis, court documents show.
She was left facing sexual assault charges.
However, the now 26-year-old Turner and the former student have married, meaning he cannot be asked to testify against her.
Turner’s student-turned-spouse is now 22 years old. According to Facebook, Turner and her former student married in May 2019, several months after the scandal. They welcomed their first child in February 2020.
Assistant prosecutor Nate Dally told the Globe that the charge against her was being dismissed after she married the student, whose identity has not been revealed. Because they are husband and wife spousal privilege now apply, the former student now has marital or spousal privilege. He can no longer be compelled to testify against his wife, making the state’s case exceedingly difficult to prove in court, Dally said.
Missouri state law prohibits school employees, volunteers or officials from having sexual contact with a student regardless of consent or age.
Turner taught English at the Sarcoxie middle school for two years before being assigned to teach high school sophomores and seniors in 2019.
She resigned from the high school after her arrest in February 2019.
The Sarcoxie School Board subsequently voted to petition the state to have her teaching license revoked. She surrendered her teaching license and moved out of state, where she lives with her child who is around a year old.
At age 23 Turner was facing up to four years in prison on sexual assault charges.
The court had ordered her not to have contact with anyone younger than 16 when she was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
Dally added that Turner has surrendered her state teaching license, which was one of the prosecutors’ main goals.
The Globe reported that Turner was one of six young educators in the state that have been accused of having sex with students in recent years.