Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News

Prosecutors Drop Sexual Assault Case After Teacher Marries Student She Allegedly Victimized

Baylee Turner admitted to having sexual intercourse with the male student back in 2019. 

By Jax Miller

The charges against a Missouri teacher accused of sexually abusing her student have been dropped after the defendant married the alleged victim, prosecutors say.

Baylee Turner, 26, was arrested weeks after she allegedly had sexual intercourse with a male student in January 2019, according to The Joplin Globe. Now, the state has decided to drop the charges in light of Turner marrying her alleged victim, whose name and age was not released.

In the state of Missouri, marriage applicants must be at least 18 years old unless they have a parent’s consent, in which case they can marry as young as 16. However, Missouri passed a bill in 2018 where an applicant must be at least 18 if the other party is over the age of 21, which Turner is.

Assistant Prosecutor Nate Dally told the Globe that because of spousal privilege, where married partners are not compelled to testify against one another, the state would face challenges in securing a conviction.

Turner admitted to having sex with the student at a residence and subsequently resigned from her position as a first-year English teacher at Sarcoxie High School. The Sarcoxie School Board also petitioned to have Turner’s teaching license removed.

She later surrendered her license.

The case mirrors several teacher scandals that have garnered media attention in the past – most notably, Mary Kay Letourneau.

Letourneau’s case captivated the country in the 1990s when the married elementary school teacher pleaded guilty to raping her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualauu. Letourneau gave birth to Fualauu’s child in 1997 while awaiting sentencing. After her release from prison, she violated a court-mandated no contact order when renewing contact with Fualauu, resulting in the birth of their second child after Letourneau was sentenced to seven years behind bars.

The couple, who’d long maintained that their relationship was consensual, married in 2005 and divorced in 2017.

According to the Globe, Turner was one of six teachers out of Southwest Missouri charged with sexually abusing students in recent years. Last December, full-time substitute teacher Jacey Bayne Collins was accused of having sex with a male student at his home while his parents were away. In November, a 42-year-old middle school teacher was sentenced to 20 years in prison for having illicit sex with a 13-year-old victim, according to NBC affiliate KSN News.

Turner taught English at the district’s middle school for two years before taking a position at the high school, according to the Globe.

Prosecutors in Jasper County did not immediately respond to requests by Oxygen.com.