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having sex with a student. Now, it seems like we have a case here in
Middle Tennessee almost every month. Tonight, why so many Tennessee
teachers are crossing the line, and how the technology some use to get
close to students is helping put them away. By the time our children
make it to high school, they've been bombarded with provocative music
and images. The CDC says nearly half of them are sexually active, and a
disturbing number of Tennessee teachers are willing sex partners.
a parent sends his or her children to school, they expect them to be
educated," says Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley.
"They don't expect them to be hit on by somebody in authority."
has prosecuted a half dozen teacher sex cases in the past few years,
most recently Darrell Allen Keen. The Beech High School teacher and
Assistant Football Coach pleaded guilty to taking two 17 year old
students to the local Holiday Inn in December and having sex with one of
them, and it's not just the men you have to worry about.
can't say it's more men than women or women more than men," says Sumner
County Sheriff's Department Detective Lisa House. "Now it's both."
House investigates sex and computer crimes for the Sumner County
Sheriff's Department. She says when it comes to teacher/student sex
scandals, women have found equal footing with the men.
with your kids all the time, you know, they're with them 8 hours a day
at school," says Detective House. "They've got easy access to them. The
chance to befriend them."
Former Portland High School math
teacher Sandy Binkley was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having sex
with 3 teenage students, often at school. At trial, Binkley claimed she
was the victim, but jurors found the teens more credible. The
prosecution's case included over 3000 text and Facebook messages between
Binkley and her victims. Hundreds of them were sent after Binkley said
she was raped.
"You know, digital technology now is where it's
happening and that's where a lot of these people are getting caught,"
says Detective House.
Detective House says when new cases come
up, she mines Facebook, Twitter and cell phone records for evidence. She
says the suspects often end up putting themselves away.
because they send it and delete it, it's not gone," says Detective
House. "You know, it can be obtained. It can be found. And that aides us
in a lot of these prosecutions."
"It's a very powerful tool, but it can be a powerful positive or a powerful negative," says Social Media Expert Shannon Self.
company helps athletes, entertainers and businesses make the most of
social media, and he understands the pitfalls better than most. His
previous job was a Youth Pastor at one of the state's largest churches.
Like teachers, Self says he knew he was just one text away from trouble.
He says there's simply a lien that can't be crossed.
you Tweet something or say something on a social media platform,
pretend like your wife's sitting right there or your boss or your school
superintendent," says Self. "That'll change the game."
lesson too many teachers have to learn the hard way. Last year 33
Tennessee school teachers had their licenses revoked. 25 of those
revocations, over 75%, involved sexual misconduct with children.
Wednesday, October 31 2012, 03:34 PM CDT
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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