A married, 26-year-old high school English teacher has been arrested for having sex with two 18-year-old male students and giving them some beer inside her home while her husband was out of town on business.
The teacher, Tiffany Leiseth, was a long-term substitute teacher for the New Brighton Area School District in rural western Pennsylvania, reports Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI.
According to police, Leiseth invited one of the two male high school seniors over to her house in Moon Township, Pa. on the last day of school. She gave him a beer. They had sex.
The very next day, police say, the second student went to her home. There was more sex and some more beer.
Prior to all the excitement, Leiseth had – of course – sent the two students nude photos of herself.
Under Pennsylvania law, Leiseth seems to have jumped the gun on the deadline for teacher-student sex by just a few days. She now faces charges of institutional sexual assault – a third-degree felony – because the students had not yet officially graduated.
The raft of charges against the teacher also includes furnishing alcohol to minors, notes CBS Pittsburgh.
“Regardless of your age, whether you’re an adult or not, if you’re a high school student, a teacher cannot have sexual relations with you,” Moon Township Police Chief Leo McCarthy told WPIX.
McCarthy added that the law originated in 2007 “to give people who are being supervised by others protection.”
Leiseth’s attorney, Mike Deriso, argues that the law doesn’t apply in this case.
“She was not their teacher at the time, and they were not her students,” Deriso told CBS Pittsburgh. “My client did not pursue those boys. They are adults. They make their own decisions.”
Police do admit that it was no crime when Leiseth sent nude images of herself to the high school students because they were 18 at the time they received the images.
According to the cops, one of the two teens said Leiseth warned him not to tell anyone about the illicit fling.
That plan apparently didn’t work out, though, because the school district superintendent Joseph A. Guarino called the cops after he had received a couple phone calls about the hanky-panky.
“They had a rumor that a school teacher was sending nude photographs of herself to two male students,” McCarthy explained to CBS Pittsburgh. “They followed up on that rumor and they found those students, and they found the nude photographs, and they identified the teacher.”
School district officials have sacked Leiseth since the alleged incidents came to light. She had been a district substitute for two years and was serving as a long-term sub in an English class this school year.
The school district issued a statement praising itself for providing “complete cooperation with all involved agencies” and declining further comment “in light of pending litigation.”
Local parents applauded the arrest.
“Set the example for any other teachers or administrators that have any thoughts of doing anything like that,” parent Howard Yellock told WPXI.