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Grading the Newest Sex Scandal Teacher

TexasA former Smithson Valley High School teacher and coach faces up to 40 years behind bars after being convicted Wednesday of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student in late 2014 and early 2015.

Jurors deliberated about an hour Wednesday morning before returning unanimous guilty verdicts against Emily M. Rogers, now 25, who taught social studies and was an assistant coach for girls volleyball and soccer there … as Comal County deputies began investigating allegations that she was romantically involved with a student who was 18 when the teacher was 22. …

The victim testified Tuesday that she’d been in love with Rogers and detailed their sexual encounters that she said occurred in her house, in Rogers’ vehicle and at Rogers’ home.

After calling no defense witnesses at the brief trial, Rogers’ attorney John Kuntz told jurors in closing arguments on Wednesday that the state had failed to prove the relationship between his client and the alleged victim was sexual … asserting that kissing and hugging didn’t constitute a criminal offense.

He claimed the only proof of actual sex between the pair came from the alleged victim, who listened to the closing arguments on Wednesday from the back of the courtroom.

“Even if you believe Emily fell in love with (the student), that is not a crime,” he told the jury of six men and six women. “The crime is the sex. Where is the proof of that?”

But prosecutor Daniel Palmitier said state witnesses provided plenty of evidence to support the victim’s claims of sex, and he faulted Rogers for failing to reject the girl’s initial advance where she’d kissed Rogers.

“That very same day after telling her to stop at school, she goes to a Target parking lot and makes out with her for about three hours,” Palmitier said in his closing argument. “Emily’s own mother said they are in a dating relationship and that (the victim) stayed at their home.”


For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to put aside the densely foggy moral gray areas that I find myself having to navigate any time we’re talking about a female-female relationship. Even one where the teacher is 22 and the student is an adult. Because Emily Rogers attorney raised some very valid legal issues here.

Namely, what constitutes sex in these cases? Remember how we never really resolved that question back when Clinton was getting hummers from White House staffers? We still haven’t. Where is that line? Is it kissing and hugging? Is it a three-hour Target parking lot make out sesh? What about the hands? Do we draw the line at over/under the sweater? Or is all second base against the law? Is it penetration? And does it matter whose doing it to whom? It seems to me and to Emily’s defense team that the issue is still unsettled. And you wonder if this conviction establishes case law. This could be one Sex Scandal Teacher Law professors are debating for years to come.
The Grades:
Looks: She’s 25? Um, OK. I’m just going to post the grade without comment.
Grade: C-

Moral Compass/Bad Judgment: Sex of some unknown type at the victim’s house, in the car, at her house. Plus that Target parking lot marathon. The only thing keeping this from being a really good grade is that in an increasingly genderless world, we still uphold the sanctity of the Double Standard.
Grade: C

Intangibles: Attorney Kuntz.
Grade: A+

Overall: C.

Do you have someone you want to see graded? Tweet her to me @jerrythornton1 or email me at Your service to the betterment of mankind will be its own reward.