High court overturns Ark. teacher-student sex law - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

High court overturns Ark. teacher-student sex law

By ALLEN REED
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down the state's law banning sexual contact between teachers and students, finding that people 18 or older have a constitutional right to engage in a consensual sexual relationship.

The court sided with David Paschal, an Elkins High School teacher who admitted having a consensual sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student.

Attorneys for the state argued the law protects high school students from sexual advances of teachers who are in positions of authority.

But the high court found the law was unconstitutional because it criminalized sexual conduct between consenting adults.

In a dissent, Justice Robert Brown said that the majority's opinion will cause disruption in high schools because there will be nothing to prevent teachers from having sex with students who are 18 or older.

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