Therese Gunn, an orchestra teacher at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, Georgia, has admitted to having a sexual relationship with one of her students. Gunn told Judge Warren Davis that the then 17-year-old boy had coerced her into the relationship.
“He did,” Gunn said. “He was like a used car salesman.” Fortunately, Judge Davis didn’t hold much empathy for Gunn and prosecutor Karen West most certainly did not care for that argument. Once Gunn entered her guilty plea to a single count of sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, she was sentenced to serve 90 days in prison and 10 years probation.
“I don’t find that you’re the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years,” Judge Davis said. “We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You’re not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care.”
Gunn resigned from her job on April 19 after working at South Gwinnett High School for 15 years. She was arrested in May 2016 and was carrying on a relationship with the student at the time. Sexual activity allegedly occurred at Gunn’s personal residence, within the school, and at Lenora Park.
Under Georgia law, sexual contact between anyone with disciplinary or supervisory authority (i.e: teachers, law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, etc) and a person under their care is illegal no matter if it was consensual.
Gunn was the fourth teacher arrested on sex-related charges at South Gwinnett High School during the 2015-16 school year alone. Since then, three more Gwinnett County Public School teachers have been arrested on similar charges. The relationship between Gunn and her student came to light after the student’s mother read his journal and reported the relationship to police.
Gunn was initially charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor due to hosting a party at her home in which teenagers were smoking marijuana under her direct supervision. Gunn was not indicted for the initial charge. The victim claims that Gunn “made his adolescence hell.”
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