A teacher convicted of having sex with a student will try to get the law tossed out, saying the student was an adult and the sex shouldn’t be criminal. The teacher is 30 years old. The student was 18. And a state law makes sex between the two a felony. But the teacher’s lawyer says the law is unconstitutional and will fight to get it erased from the law books.
Attorneys for 30-year-old Charles Edwards are not fighting his firing from the Wichita School District. But they say his arrest on criminal charges is unconstitutional. Edwards taught vocal lessons at Northwest High School and had sex with an 18-year-old student.
Kansas law bans any sex between any kind of law enforcement officer and inmates. There’s also a clause saying it’s criminal if the offender is a teacher or a person in position of authority and the person with whom the offender is engaging in consensual sexual intercourse is a student enrolled at the school where the offender is employed. Edwards’ attorney says his client pleaded guilty to the charge so they could begin appealing the law.
“How far do we want the state to pry into our individual consensual sexual relationships?” said legal analyst Dan Monnat, who is not representing Edwards.
Monnat says Edwards may have a case against the constitutionality of the law.
A Supreme Court ruling declaring laws banning gay sex between consenting adults may apply to this case. Monnat says just because people may find a relationship inappropriate, doesn’t mean it should be against the law.
“There may be all kinds of consensual sexual relations that the public finds in bad taste, but does the public want to send those persons to prison?” he said.
Edwards will be sentenced on the conviction in May. His lawyer is expecting probation because of his client’s clean criminal record. The appeals process is expected to take about a year