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Guilt-Ridden Teacher Pleads No Contest After Confessing to Sex With Middle School Student

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GMA: The lawyer for the California middle-school teacher who shocked the country with her unsolicited confession of a months-long sexual affair with a 14-year-old former student -- and who later declined to be bailed from jail -- said the woman "couldn't live" with her actions and wanted the story to come out.

Amy Beck may have cleared her conscience, but she now faces a 2-year sentence in state prison after pleading no contest to charges against her on Thursday. Beck's lawyer, Michael Williamson, told "Good Morning America" today she would likely serve a year with good behavior.

"Amy's a very compassionate individual. She became really guilt-ridden and remorseful," Williamson said. "She couldn't live with what she had done and had to bring it to light."

The Burbank, Calif., teacher stunned police and school officials when she showed up at the police station and told them she'd repeatedly had sex with a now-15-year-old boy.

"Obviously we were surprised," Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. Without Beck's confession, "we would have never known about this."

"It seemed she was just feeling guilty and was overwhelmed with this guilt and had to get it off her chest," Quesada said.

Detectives confirmed her story with the student and arrested Beck, the wife of a police officer and mother of three, on multiple charges of having sex with a minor.

On Thursday, the 33-year-old pleaded no contest to one count each of unlawful sex with a minor and performing lewd acts on a minor.

She could have been sentenced to as many as seven years in prison if she had been convicted.

Beck, who was a popular English and social studies teacher at the David Starr Jordan Middle School, confessed to police with Williamson by her side.

"Amy was a very good teacher, very close with her students," Williamson told "GMA." "At some point she crossed the line with this one particular young man. There's no indication it happened with anyone else."

The affair allegedly started in March 2009 when the boy was 14 and continued through September. School officials told ABC's Los Angeles affiliate KABC that Beck had recently announced her resignation, but they had no idea that an affair with a student could have been behind it.

"She resigned last week, and quite frankly we didn't have any knowledge or understanding as to why that happened," Burbank Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Gabe Soumakian told KABC. "She was going to move out of town, but we didn't know what other issues that were being brought forward."

After her arrest, Beck declined to post $175,000 bail, choosing to stay in jail instead. She did so, Williamson said, partly because of remorse and partly to avoid the news media. Also, the time she's serving counts towards her eventual sentencing, Williamson said.

Williamson said Beck's family is avoiding the media and "doing well." Beck's marriage is still intact and her husband is "standing by his wife," Williamson said.

For the rest of the story, go to ABC News

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Wendi March 26, 2010, 7:03 AM

Two years?? That is it? That would not be enough for me as a parent. This is why these teachers keep doing this to our kids, they are not having enough consequences. I believe that any sex crime, especially against minors need to have long term sentencing. This is has got to stop!

Anonymous March 26, 2010, 11:11 AM

For one thing he was fourteen years old, not six. Many kids are having sex at age fifteen. Also it isn’t like she raped him. And to add in, there was a teacher at my old high school who slept with two sixteen year old boys, and the boys saw it as some great accomplishment.
She was also honest and turned herself in for it, which was a brave and responsible thing to do.
I think two years if good enough of a sentence.

Kaela March 26, 2010, 2:28 PM

“FOR ONE THING” he was FOURTEEEN YEARS OLD! and she was THRITYTHREEEEE!!! He is just a child, it IS like she raped him. How many 14yr old boys do you know who are mature enough to understand sex and the consequences it brings? She knew better, it’s obviously against the law for a reason. And are you really trying to justify another teachers actions because they managed to sleep with 2 minors… what are you like 12 or something?
Oh great, she turned herself in… good for her… that makes everything all better now doesn’t it. WRONG, she knew she was going to get caught sooner or later, so why not get it over with now. You really think a little boy is going to keep his mouth shut… or brag to every living soul that he’s getting laid? hmmm… I wonder…
As a parent, 2 years for “good behavior” would not do the situation justice. Taking advantage of a child, whether it’s a man or a woman who is at fault… is WRONG. And I agree with Wendi, it’s not harsh enough of a sentence and that’s why these sick people just keep doing it again and again. Would you still be justifying these actions if it was a 33yr old man and a 14yr old little girl? NO, doubt it.
If I was you I would have left my ridiculous post “anonymous” as well…

momlogic mommy May 19, 2010, 7:46 AM

I’m not sure why I felt angry when I looked at the above pic and article. Maybe it’s because she was somewhat described in a positive light. Our culture, having voiced attempts at giving women and men equality must be concientious of this. We have a moral obligation to frowning on such missuses of power.

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