A Texas high school teacher, who admitted to having sex and smoking marijuana with a 15-year-old male student, broke down in tears on Thursday when she was sentenced to serve eight years in prison.
Michelle Schiffer, 24, taught world history in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District until last year when she was accused of hooking up with a teenage student at least twice during the summer of 2017.
Cypress Springs High School Principal Cheryl Henry learned about Schiffer’s alleged sexual misconduct from a student tipster in November 2017. The anonymous source told Henry that the purported victim was Schiffer’s former student, according to court documents. While under investigation the school district placed the teacher on administrative leave.
Breitbart Texas reported that Schiffer and the male victim, then 15-years-old, met up at an area Chick-fil-A restaurant and, later, the pair had sex at a friend’s apartment, according to court documents. In a second meeting, Schiffer picked up the student at a local park where the two drove around and smoked marijuana. Then, Schiffer pulled over on a neighborhood street where the two kissed and had sexual intercourse.
Investigators interviewed Schiffer and the teenager separately. Reportedly, both confessed to the sexual dalliance and pot smoking. Originally, in late November, Schiffer was charged with having an improper relationship between an educator and a student as well as the sexual assault of a child. She was arrested but bonded out on $30,000 bail.
Then, in May, she formally admitted to having sex and smoking marijuana with the teenage boy. As part of an agreement, Schiffer pleaded guilty to one count of improper relationship, a second degree felony. She faced the possibility of up to 20 years in prison.
Last month, Schiffer was back in court. She appeared before Harris County State District Judge Robert Johnson. The former teacher’s friends and family pleaded for leniency. They said Schiffer suffered from depression and stopped taking her medication when she became inappropriately involved with the 15-year-old, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
At the time, defense attorney Grant Scheiner argued probation was an appropriate punishment for his client. However, prosecutor Keaton Forcht disagreed. “This isn’t a heat of the moment thing,” he said. “This is over a series of months and with different students.”
Forcht said Schiffer texted other students and sent them topless photos of herself, according to the Express-News.
During her sentencing on Thursday, Schiffer began to cry after the judge announced her punishment would be to spend eight years behind bars. It is unclear when she may be eligible for parole.
“Michelle and her family are disappointed with the outcome thus far, but she accepts responsibility for what she has done,” stated Scheiner. “Michelle is prepared to serve her sentence and hopes the complainant and his family can forgive her.”
Schiffer was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
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