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Teacher charged with aggravated statutory rape

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A 37-year-old third-grade teacher at Christ Classical Academy in Dyersburg was arrested on Tuesday on three counts of aggravated statutory rape.

Beth Scearce of Halls, Tenn. was reportedly arrested by Lauderdale County law enforcement officials on Tuesday at Christ Classical Academy and booked into the Lauderdale County Jail on the charges.

According to a court affidavit, Scearce had allegedly had sexual intercourse with two males under the age of 18. One of the victims reportedly told a law enforcement official with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office that he had sex with Scearce on three occasions in the fall of 2012.

Christ Classical Academy Principal Janice Young stated Scearce was a third-grade teacher and she was in her second year of teaching at the school. However, she added that Scearce is now on leave. Although not naming Scearce directly as the person involved in the arrest, Young released a prepared statement about the arrest.

It reads:

"Christ Classical Academy is both surprised and shocked at the recent arrest of an employee of the Academy. Per School Board policy, the employee has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent criminal charges.

"Initially, it should be noted that there is no indication that any students or other employees of Christ Classical Academy were either in any way involved or even aware of the underlying conduct leading to the criminal charges made public yesterday. Obviously, the Academy is not in a position to be aware of all conduct or communications between its employees and third parties or other persons not associated with the Academy in any way.

"In the meantime, any further information regarding this matter, insomuch as it affects or relates to the Academy, shall be limited to that provided by counsel for Christ Classical with regard to this matter."

Tennessee law defines aggravated statutory rape as the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant, or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least 13 but less than 18 years of age and the defendant is at least 10 years older than the victim.

The charge is a Class D felony and carries a possible 2-12-year sentence.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lauderdale County Jail officials said Scearce remains in jail without bond and no definite court date has been set for her.

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-- Posted by liveshere on Wed, Oct 16, 2013, at 9:13 PM

You should know that you are going to get caught when you have sex with young boy--he will want to brag about it to someone--it is in their genes and hormones--and apparently another boy wanted to try it too ..I will bet the boy didn't complain,but someone else did when the boy told how he got to his teacher--no excuse for this behaviour ,but it happens ,since Adam and Eve,and this knowledge should be a deterrent to horny teachers

-- Posted by newshawk on Wed, Oct 16, 2013, at 11:30 PM

Not to defend her actions, but if the law is worded this way, the charge is not applicable. Just saying.

-- Posted by olcoot on Thu, Oct 17, 2013, at 7:59 AM

1st: She is "Innocent until Proven Guilty".

2nd: DCS is always quick to re-act when it comes to this. As they should be.

The worse part of this is , IF she is innocent and these boys just made this up... (THIS has happened in the past) Her career is pretty much over...

I think that there should be a law that this can not be reported until after there have been a confession, guilty plea, or trial...

-- Posted by Elvin Patch on Thu, Oct 17, 2013, at 8:09 AM

I know its a double standard, I admit that, but lets be real here, if these boys were ages 15-17 and even possibly 14, lol, come on lets admit it, she really did no harm to them. Does anyone really believe that this woman harmed a 16 year old boy by having sex with him? Seriously? She harmed him so much that he went back 2 more times to have sex with her, lololololol. Let her go.

-- Posted by liveshere on Thu, Oct 17, 2013, at 3:14 PM

@ liveshere, if this was a male teacher and female minors would you feel the same?

-- Posted by MsC on Thu, Oct 17, 2013, at 6:54 PM

No, I just said that it was a double standard, I admit that, and I wouldn't feel the same, but lets not kid ourselves and think for 1 minute that a 16 year old boy who had sex with his teacher is scarred for life, come on..................

-- Posted by liveshere on Fri, Oct 18, 2013, at 5:35 AM

I was this day I am lucky enough to have a high school eng teacher who taught me about what I needed to do to please a women I was 16 she was 24 and was in 1965 so this is nothing new to this day I am grateful to miss m

-- Posted by swed49 on Tue, Oct 22, 2013, at 9:39 PM

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