On Tuesday, an attorney for former high school teacher Brianne Land Altice argued in court that the four criminal charges against her should be dismissed because she was victimized by a 16-year-old male student’s aggressive and very intent mission to bed her.
Judge John R. Morris refused to buy the novel theory proffered by defense attorney Edward Brass, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Consequently, Altice still faces one count of first-degree felony forcible sodomy and three counts of first-degree felony rape.
The case against Altice, 34, began in October 2013. At the time, she taught English at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah (south of Ogden).
The charges stem from allegations that Altice had sex with the unidentified student at least three times between January and September of 2013. The teen described for police the layout of the teacher’s home and the tattoos on her body.
In his motion to dismiss, Brass argued that prosecutors had failed to demonstrate that Altice held a supervisory role over the student that was sufficient to allow her to “exercise undue influence” under Utah law.
“She never used her position as a teacher to gain some sort of advantage over him or exercise undue influence as the statute says,” the lawyer said in court proceedings, according to local NBC affiliate KSL.
In fact, the defense attorney claimed, it was the other way around.
The teen lothario, Brass said, took advantage of Altice because she is a nice person. She eventually gave in after persistent refusals to bang him.
To support his argument, Brass pointed to statements the student, by then 17, made in a preliminary hearing.
In those statements, the teen said he would flirtingly tell Altice how attractive she was a few times each day. From there, he said he started “pushing it,” according to the Deseret News.
He somehow managed to skip other classes to sit in on hers without ever getting in trouble. The young Don Juan dropped love notes on her desk that said things like “If I was 18, would you date me?” and “When would I get that kiss?”
Altice initially rebuffed the overtures but – the kid noted – not in a negative way. After awhile, she stopped saying “no” and succumbed to saying “maybe,” reports the Salt Lake City daily.
At some point, prosecutors say, “maybe” became “yes.” The pair smooched in Altice’s classroom. Then they met in a church parking lot where they got busy in a car. There was also sex at Altice’s home.
She was married at the time. Her and her husband have a child as well.
The student said he later began to feel guilty about the tryst and transferred to a different school, reports local Fox affiliate KSTU.
Also, he was the one who contacted police to confess the romance, according to the Deseret News.
Altice has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Her husband initiated divorce proceedings in December. He is seeking custody of the couple’s child.