This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 27, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Five years ago, French teacher Joelle Ogletree was accused of having sex with three students at a high school in Texas. Ogletree, maintaining her innocence, refused to accept the prosecutor's plea deal, and by the time the trial rolled around, one student admitted to lying and the other two were discredited.
Ogletree, who is currently suing the school district for wrongful termination, joins us now, along with her lawyer, Henry Jones.
We welcome you both. Joelle, how did this get started? Why did these students, since discredited, start this rumor about you?
JOELLE OGLETREE, CLEARED OF HAVING SEX WITH STUDENTS: Well, no one can really say for sure to that except the students themselves. One of the students, the one who did recant and was willing to talk about it, said that he felt pressure to make the allegations from the administration of the school.
The other two students who have not recanted, you know, I don't know why they initially made the allegations. I do know from documents that they were initially interviewed by the school district together in the same room, which in my opinion, would make it harder to back down from something that you've already been saying.
COLMES: I understand the school district called them in 10, 20 times, tried to intimidate them into saying certain things. You spent more than $100,000, refinanced your home twice in order to defend yourself. You got your license back, but they still won't give you your job back.
OGLETREE: Right. Well, they won't even let me volunteer at the elementary school with my daughter.
COLMES: Counselor, Mr. Jones, what legal recourse do you have? Can she give her job back? And if the school says, "No, we still believe these kids," [which] apparently is what some of the school people are saying, what do you do about it?
HENRY JONES, LAWYER: We're not going away. We're going to seek justice. What happened to her, she was "Nifonged." They just rushed to judgment without any notice of who her accusers were, what the accusations were. They fired her in a couple of days.
What we're saying is, no, you should have gone through the process. We believe in the process. We don't think that, had these things been tested early on, they would have stood up.
HANNITY: Hey, Joelle, what I found pretty interesting about your story and fascinating about your story is your lawyer begged you to take a plea deal. Your husband begged you to take a plea deal, said, "We can move, we can get out, we can start a new life." But you said no.
And this was — you didn't know that one of the boys had already recanted at some church retreat event. Why would you risk, you know, all these years, potentially, in jail and go with your gut and not take the deal?
OGLETREE: That's a good question. Honestly, I don't know how I did that. All of my family at some point — and my husband and myself, we went back and forth: do you take it, do you not take it? In one way, it's crazy, absolutely crazy...
OGLETREE: ... when you're offered no jail time whatsoever, to not take that and risk...
HANNITY: Go ahead.
OGLETREE: ... risk what 12 people are going to think of you.
OGLETREE: You could spend the rest of your life in prison. I was facing 120 years.