Emily Gurnon, reporting for the Pioneer Press, describes a case involving the "love" between a 36-year-old English teacher and a 17-year-old high school student. This love resulted in sex crime charges against the teacher, who was convicted.
At a recent sentencing hearing, the teacher's defense lawyer asked the judge to sentence his client to a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony, on the grounds that the couple "fell in love."
In fact, the student was said to have consented to sex.
As Gurnon reports, the teacher wrote a letter to the student's parents, in which he said that she "means the world to me. I would do anything for her. I would give up my life if I had to. And when you think about it, I already have."
To a certain extent, this case renews the debate when it comes to certain sex crimes. This is a sex crimes case - and those accused of sex crimes typically get little sympathy - but does this teacher deserve maximum punishment?
"[The teacher] is not a pedophile," said his defense attorney. "He is a man who made a poor decision at a particularly difficult time in his life when his mother was dying of terminal cancer."
As it happens, we'll have to wait and see whether the judge will be sympathetic.