A 32-year-old Ohio teacher found guilty of having sex with a 14-year-old student inside her locked classroom has been sentenced to one year in prison, dodging calls from the victim’s father to have her put behind bars for more than a decade.
Jessica Langford, of Centerville, received five years of probation in addition to the sentence Tuesday following a 2017 incident that was said to have happened inside her Miamisburg Middle School classroom. The teen victim told jurors during her trial that they had oral sex and intercourse for around “20 to 30 minutes” on the last day of the academic year.
“I wish I could go back and undo all that happened,” Langford said in court Tuesday. “I am completely responsible for my actions and should have never have used my power as a teacher and never developed a friendship with a student.”
Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Timothy O’Connell, during sentencing for Langford’s three sexual battery convictions, noted that she has had no past criminal history, the Dayton Daily News reported. She had argued that she was the primary caregiver for her mother and daughter.
The sentence Langford received was in stark contrast to what the victim’s father was asking for -- the maximum length of 15 years.
“She was entrusted with the care of the children and students and threw it away for her own sexual gratification,” the father had said in court, according to the newspaper. “He feels embarrassed and alone. He’s bullied constantly at school and feels helpless and alone.”
Langford said she and the teen “should have never exchanged any form of communication.
“I felt trapped in a teacher’s life. I was distracted, I was unable to focus only on my teaching duties,” she told the court. “Being the teacher all students wanted to have, I have learned to be a great teacher – doesn’t mean I need to be a friend to students and that there should be boundaries between teacher-student relationships.”