Carver, Cantin and Mynarich, LLC has represented numerous school employees charged with sexual contact with a student in Missouri. The current statute making such contact a crime can be found at RSMo. §566.086 https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=566.086, which states:
- A person commits the offense of sexual contact with a student if he or she has sexual contact with a student of the school and is:
- A teacher, as that term is defined in subdivisions (4), (5), and (7) of section 168.104;
- A student teacher; or
- An employee of the school; or
- A volunteer of the school or of an organization working with the school on a project or program who is not a student at the school; or
- An elected or appointed official of the school district; or
- A person employed by an entity that contracts with the school or school district to provide services.
- For the purposes of this section, “school” shall mean any public or private school in this state serving kindergarten through grade twelve or any school bus used by the school district.
- The offense of sexual contact with a student is a class E felony.
- It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that the student consented to the sexual contact.
This statute became effective January 1, 2017 and is broader than an older version of this statute. For example, under the old statute https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=566.086&bid=29415, the term “school” was limited to a public school. The 2017 statute expanded the definition of school to include private schools and busses.
Because sexual contact with a student is a class E felony, a person convicted of the offense can be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison and may be ordered to pay a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
Additionally, pleading guilty to or being found guilty of sexual contact with a student requires registration as a “Tier II” sex offender. See RSMo. §589.414.6 (c). Under RSMo. §589.400.4(2), a Tier II sex offender must register for 25 years. Registration is required even if the defendant receives a suspended imposition of sentence for this crime, because that is still a guilty plea even if it is not a “conviction.”
In some situations, it may be possible to resolve a sexual contact with a student charge in a way that avoids prison or 25 years of sex offender registration. So, if you find yourself charged with sexual contact with a student, hire a firm that is familiar with this offense.