Prosecutor Forced to Drop Sex Assault Charges Against Teacher After She Marries Student

Her now-husband cannot be forced to testify against her.

A Missouri teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student cannot be prosecuted — because the alleged victim is now her husband.

Baylee A. Turner, 26, who taught at Sarcoxie High School, was charged in February 2019 after she allegedly had sex with one of her male students.

According to the Joplin Globe, Turner was in the middle of her first year teaching there, having spent two years at the district’s middle school, when she was accused of sleeping with a pupil in the week of January 14-21.

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She resigned, and the Sarcoxie School Board voted to petition the state revoke her teaching license, which she later surrendered.

However, according to Nate Dally, assistant prosecutor in the case, Turner has since married the unnamed student — making prosecution against her extremely difficult.

He told the Globe that because marital or spousal privilege now applies, her former student and now husband cannot be compelled to testify against her; as a result, they have decided to drop the charges.

The probable-cause affidavit did not reveal the student’s age; however state law prohibits sexual contact between a school employee and student, regardless of age.

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Dally did not disclose when the two got married. The couple have since moved out of state.

Turner had been ordered to have no contact with anyone below the age of 16 after she was released on $10k bond. She had been facing a maximum of four years imprisonment, if convicted.

According to the Globe, Turner is one of six young educators in Southwest Missouri to have been accused of sexual relations with a pupil in recent years.

The case is reminiscent of Mary Kay Letourneau, who was convicted of second-degree rape of a child in 1997, after a sexual relationship with then-12-year-old Vili Fualaau. She gave birth to one of his children while awaiting sentencing, and his second while in prison.

A year after her release in 2004, they married, and stayed together for 14 years until they separated in 2019. Letourneau died of cancer in July of 2020, aged 58.

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