Former Southern Calif. teacher sentenced to 2 years in prison for sex with 14-year-old boy

By John Rogers, AP
Friday, May 7, 2010

Calif. teacher gets 2 years for sex with teenager

BURBANK, Calif. — A middle school teacher who stunned authorites and colleagues when she walked into a police station earlier this year and admitted to having a six-month affair with a 14-year-old former student was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Amy Victoria Beck stood in court looking dejected, her head slightly bowed and her eyes either closed or fixed on the floor as Judge Patrick J. Hegarty passed sentence. She had pleaded no contest in March to one count each of unlawful sexual intercourse and committing a lewd act on a child.

The sentencing hearing lasted just a few minutes and Beck, her hands cuffed behind her, never spoke except to mumble a “thank you” when Hegarty wished her good luck.

With time off for good behavior, as well as credit for the months she has been in jail since her confession, Beck’s attorney, Michael Williamson, said she should be released in about 10 months.

The 33-year-old mother of three remains married to her husband, a Los Angeles police officer, and her attorney said the couple have no plans to divorce.

“Her husband is absolutely standing by her,” Williamson told reporters outside court.

He said Beck still could not explain why she began the affair in March 2009. The boy had been one of her students several years before, he said.

Beck was a popular teacher at David Starr Jordan Middle School whose work had been honored by a local service group when she arrived at police headquarters in this Los Angeles suburb. She had quit her job the week before, telling school officials she planned to move out of state.

Instead, she went straight to jail, never making any effort to post her $175,000 bail.

Williamson said Beck has never regretted her decision to confess to a crime police said they were unaware of.

“She believes it was the right thing to do after having done the wrong thing,” he said. “The only way to set it right was to do the right thing.”

Upon her release, Beck must serve three years parole and register for life as a sex offender.

In court Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta briefly questioned whether it was proper to give Beck as much as a day off her sentence for each day served, given the seriousness of her crimes, but Hegarty said it was.

Archuleta declined to speak with reporters after the hearing.

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