Baylee Turner: Sex assault charges against teacher dropped after she MARRIES student
Prosecutors said that the student can no longer be compelled to testify against the former teacher due to spousal privilege
Authorities have dropped the charges against a former Missouri high school teacher accused of having sexual intercourse with one of her male students. The prosecutors said that since Baylee A Turner, 26, married the student, he can no longer be compelled to testify against her due to martial or spousal privilege.
In February 2019, Turner, a former teacher at Sarcoxie high school was charged after allegedly admitting to police that she had sex with the student at her home following an investigation by Jasper County Sheriff’s Department. After her arrest, Turner resigned from the high school and has surrendered her teaching license.
Assistant prosecutor Nate Dally said that the charge against Turner was being dismissed after she married the student whose identity has not been revealed. Dally said that because the former student now has martial or spousal privilege, he can no longer be compelled to testify against his wife, weakening the state's case in court in an interview with The Joplin Globe.
Before taking the job at the high school as an English teacher, Turner taught at a middle school in the district for two years. She was 23-years-old when she was accused of sleeping with one of her students and was in her first year of teaching at Sarcoxie High School.
According to the court documents, both Turner and the student acknowledged that they had sex at Turner's home in Sarcoxie, about 260 miles southwest of St Louis. Under Missouri law, it is illegal for any school employee, volunteer, or official to have sexual relations with a student, even if they are over 18.
Turner was facing up to four years in prison as a result of sexual assault charges placed against her. It is unclear when the two tied the knot as the age and the identity of the student were not listed as per the court documents seeking to dismiss the case. The Globe reported that Turner was one of six young educators in the state that have been accused of having sex with students in recent years.
The case is similar to the infamous case involving a late Washington state teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and the student she raped when he was just 12 years old in 1996. In the shocking case, Letourneau pleaded guilty to the rape admitting to a sexual relationship with Vili Fualaau in 1997. Letourneau, who was registered as a sex offender after doing seven years behind the bars, married Fualaau. The couple ended up having two children together before Fualaau filed for separation in 2017. Letourneau died of colon cancer at the age of 58 in 2020.