TUCSON, Ariz.Oct 26 2011 - Jennifer Lynn Whiting, the Tucson high school teacher who was arrested after sexually explicit photos of her were found on a 16-year-old student’s cell phone, has pleaded guilty to a felony sexual conduct charge.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that the 33-year-old Rincon High School teacher will face at least one year in prison for her guilty plea.
Whiting was arrested last year in June after the father of the 16-year-old boy contacted police. The father says he found sexual photos of Whiting on his son’s cell phone.
Whiting was charged with eight counts alleging that she had sex with the boy, smoked marijuana with him and sent him sexually explicit photos of herself.
According to CBS affiliate KOLD, police said Whiting left her children at home on the early morning in June 2010 to meet with the victim.
She faces between a year and nine years in prison under terms of a plea agreement. She will be sentenced Dec. 5.
Whiting was fired from her teacher job for failing to disclose her arrest.
The TUSD Governing Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to dismiss Jennifer Lynn Whiting.
Whiting had been on paid leave and was scheduled to appeal her termination on Sept. 21 but will not have the opportunity due to a new state statute.
State law required Whiting to inform the school district of her sex-crime-related arrest, but she failed to do so, said TUSD legal counsel Rob Ross. As a result, her appeal hearing was canceled.
“Under the statute she is required to inform us,” Ross said. “If a person fails to do so, we shall dismiss them. In this case, we knew of her arrest, we were aware of it, but she never told us herself.”
Whiting’s attorney, Dan Cooper, said the statute isn’t clear as to who must give the notification, but said TUSD was notified. “She was in jail so she couldn’t immediately notify anyone,” Cooper said.
Whiting’s only appeal option now as far as her job is concerned is to file a lawsuit or a special action, Cooper said. He did not know if Whiting intended to do that.
Whiting, 32, was arrested in a “sexting” case June 25. Suspicions about Whiting first arose on the last day of school – May 26, according to TUSD’s statement of charges.
On that day, the student’s female cousin was to pick up the boy, his brother and his male cousin at a nearby park after school.
The boy’s brother and male cousin made it to the park, but the boy didn’t. The female cousin called the boy and told him to meet her at the park.
Sometime later, a car pulled up and the boy got out. The female cousin thought she recognized the driver of the car as Whiting, but the driver held her hand up to her face and drove away.
The female cousin followed the car and tried to get a better look, but the driver continued to hide her face.
The incident was reported to the boy’s father, who contacted police.
The father also reportedly found sexual photos of Whiting on his son’s cell phone.
Whiting had sexual contact with the boy four times from May 26 through June 23 and also involved the boy in an undisclosed drug offense three times during that period, according to an indictment
TUCSON AZ July 17 2010 – A Tucson teacher arrested after sexually explicit photos of her were found on a student’s cell phone has been indicted on eight felonies.
Pima County prosecutors say 32-year-old Jennifer Lynn Whiting is charged with four counts of sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of involving or using minors in drug offenses and one count of furnishing obscene or harmful items to minors.
The Rincon High School teacher was arrested June 25 after Tucson police were contacted by the father of a 16-year-old boy. The man says he found sexual photos of Whiting on his son’s cell phone.
The Arizona Daily Star says the indictment claims Whiting had sexual contact with the boy four times between May 26 and June 23, and also involved the teen in an undisclosed drug offense three times during that span.
Whiting’s attorney did not immediately return calls Wednesday seeking comment on his client’s arrest.