A former Ohio middle school teacher convicted last year of having sex with a student has been released from prison and must now register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Jessica Langford, 33, was released from the Ohio Reformatory for Women on Tuesday, having completed her one-year prison sentence, the Dayton Daily News reports.
Langford, formerly a teacher at Miamisburg Middle School, was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy in a locked classroom on the last day of school in 2017. She was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct and sexual battery and sentenced in June to one year in prison as well as five years of probation. A judge also ruled that, in addition to giving up her teaching license, she be required to register as a sex offender.
Langford is said to have befriended the child during a class trip to Washington, D.C., according to another report from the Dayton Daily News. While testifying during the trial, the teen said that Langford added him on Snapchat after the trip, and he expressed a desire to have sex with her; she later arranged for him to meet her in a classroom on May 23, 2017, before the start of classes, at which point they “started kissing and it escalated from there,” the student said.
The teen told the court that they had sex “for about 20 to 30 minutes” but were interrupted when the principal knocked on the door, at which point, Langford told him to hide under the desk and “stick to the story” that he was in her classroom because he was helping her stack chairs and desks, he said. The child initially denied that anything had happened, but eventually confided in his father, a police officer.
Langford pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual battery and three counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, but a jury found her guilty last April after about 90 minutes of deliberation, according to the outlet.
The former teacher was released this week, with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirming to the Dayton Daily News that she had no reports of negative disciplinary action to her name during her time served.
Now that she’s been released, Langford must now begin registering as a Tier III sex offender, a classification that the Montgomery Counter prosecutor’s office described as the “most serious” of the state’s classification regarding such crimes, according to the outlet. Offenders in that category are required by law to notify the sheriff in whatever county they live in of their home address and place of employment, or school, every three months, for the remainder of their lives, a spokesperson for the office said.
Prior to the end of her sentence, Langford tried twice to secure an early release, once in August and again in December, the Dayton Daily News reports, citing court records. In her pleas, she claimed that she’d been a “model prisoner” and was needed at home to support her family, which included a young daughter and a sickly mother, but prosecutors fought those requests and claimed that Langford repeatedly failed to take responsibility for her actions.
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