Published March 17, 2007
WILMINGTON, Del. – A sixth-grade science teacher who was accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Rachel L. Holt, 35, had pleaded guilty to second-degree rape. She sobbed in court Friday as Superior Court Judge Calvin L. Scott gave her the mandatory minimum sentence.
Prosecutors had wanted Scott to sentence Holt to the maximum of 25 years.
Holt was initially charged with 28 counts of first-degree rape.
Police accused her of having sex with the boy that many times during an intense weeklong affair. She was also accused of plying the boy with alcohol and allowing him to drive her car.
Holt's attorney, John S. Malik, said the sentence was much longer than what teachers convicted in similar cases got. He reviewed 40 such cases and found the average was 18 months to two years.
In her brief comments to the court, Holt apologized "to everyone who suffered" as a result of her actions, including the victim and his family.
"I hope you can forgive me," she said. "I know what I did was wrong."
The victim's uncle, who spoke on behalf of the family, asked for the maximum sentence, saying Holt had tarnished the reputation of teachers and violated his nephew's trust.
"He had his innocence taken away through betrayal," he said.