Elaine B. Goodman of Dover, Delaware potentially faced up to 15 years of prison after pleading guilty to having sex with her 13-year-old daughter's boyfriend. Due to the leniency of a judge, Goodman is now being put on probation.
According to USA Today, Goodman was arrested primarily on digital evidence, which included lurid text messages between the two. Apparently, Goodman had arranged to meet the boy shortly before her 45th birthday and had intercourse with him in her car before going to work.
"This came out of the blue," Judge Robert B. Young said of the incident which he characterized as "an aberration ... The crime is egregious and affected the victim and his family, which was taken into account. But incarceration is not the answer." Young noted Goodman's history of public service and her role as caretaker in her family in his decision to not imprison her.
Goodman may have escaped jail but she will be forced to attend sexual disorder counseling and register as a sex offender.
Not everyone was on board with the light sentencing, though. Deputy Attorney General Denise Weeks-Tappan had this to say about the situation: "This mom, who he trusted, instructed him on what to do," Weeks-Tappan said. "The crime has affected the victim in many ways. He's hurt, embarrassed and it is affecting his schooling ... When the defendant committed this crime, she took something away from him. He was not a willing participant but a victim."
"I know sorry is just a word, but I really am," Goodman herself said through tears at the trial. "I know I hurt people, and that is terrible."
[Photo: Smyrna (Del.) Police Department]