A former Ohio teacher who had sex with a student in a classroom pantry because he “looked and acted like her husband” has been sentenced to two years behind bars.
Laura Bucy, 34, was given the sentence Wednesday after emotional statements from the victim and his parents, who detailed the long-term damage her sexual abuse has caused their family.
“You have seriously injured this boy,” his unidentified victim's father said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “We fear he will never be the same. I hope the court sends you to prison.”
Bucy, a home economics teacher, pleaded guilty in June to sexual battery, a third-degree felony, after admitting to a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old at Twinsburg High School in 2018.
Bucy allegedly told police that she and the student had a “very strong connection” and that he often came into her classroom to help her clean, according to an arrest report obtained by Oxygen.com.
The boy “looked and acted like her husband,” investigators said Bucy told them. On one occasion, Bucy and her victim had sex together in a classroom pantry. She also admitted to buying the teen supplies for vaping and purchasing $10 worth of marijuana for him.
Bucy told investigators she and the boy only had sexual intercourse once, but that the pair later sent sexually explicit photos and videos to each other, the report said.
The teen, who did not appear in court, provided a written statement that was read aloud. He described how he felt like Bucy “had all the power over me” during the illicit relationship. He believed that she could have gotten him in trouble at school or altered his grades, he said, according to local station WOIO.
“It truly got out of hand. I began drinking alone in my room on weekdays,” he said. “I started to isolate myself from others and stopped communication with my family so I could be alone.”
The teen said Bucy told him he had to keep the sex a secret so that she did not lose her job.
The abuse had damaging effects, he said.
“I pray you are never allowed to work with students,” the teen said, according to the local paper. “No kid should ever have to go through this.”
The teen’s mother also spoke to the effects of the relationship in court, saying that the abuse had hindered her son’s ability to have a normal dating life.
“He’s supposed to feel safe and protected at school—and you took that away from him,” she said, according to the local paper.
Bucy’s attorneys had asked the judge to consider probation, citing her lack of a previous criminal record and mental health issues.
“She has a great deal of remorse,” attorney Larry Whitney said. “She wants to get to the bottom of why this occurred. She wants to get this behind her.”
Bucy also spoke at the sentencing hearing, apologizing to the teen, his family and her own family, who were all impacted by her decisions.
“They all deserve better and I’m sorry I allowed this to occur,” she said, according to the paper. “I do not believe this incident is a true reflection of who I am and will never let it happen again.”
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Susan Baker Ross sentenced Bucy to two years behind bars, but said she would be willing to consider early release after six months.
Bucy, who will now have to register as a sex offender as part of her sentence, has surrendered her teaching certificate.
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