A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled that a female middle school teacher must pay $1 million for traumatizing a 15-year-old student with stand-up-style sex in the back of her classroom and with a bunch of other mind-blowing sex that included an intense, weeks-long, two-state romance.
The now-former teacher is Jennifer Caswell. She was 27 when she repeatedly inflicted the sex trauma on the unidentified teen (back in 2014).
The judge, Robin J. Cauthron, announced the judgment award for intentional infliction of emotional distress on Monday, reports the Daily Oklahoman.
The teen student “reports feelings of depression, isolation, and self-blame for the events that transpired,” Cauthron declared. “He experienced humiliation when members of his community publicly chastised him and when strangers recognized him and questioned him about the scandal.”
Caswell’s romps with the teenager occurred when she was an English teacher at a middle school in tiny Hollis, Oklahoma (pop.: 2,060). He was in eighth grade at the time.
Police arrested Caswell in June 2014 on statutory rape charges when they found her and the student in a Best Western motel room in Olive Branch, Mississippi, according to a contemporaneous story in The Oklahoman.
After the cold busting at the Olive Branch Best Western, the student spilled the beans. He told police he and Caswell had sex in her SUV, in her house and inside the home of her father — a local pastor.
Caswell was going through a divorce with her husband at the time of the sexcapades with the teen student.
The student “is receiving continued professional counseling services, and these professionals predict he will have future problems accepting female companionship and trusting female authority figures,” Cauthron, the federal judge, said.
The lonely teacher appeared on the Dr. Phil show in 2015 to discuss her star-crossed love affair. (RELATED: Teacher Who Had Standing-Up Classroom Sex With Teen Tells Dr. Phil She Was Lonely, Blames Ex-Husband)
The boy was the aggressor, Caswell insisted. He constantly flirted with the teacher, complimented her and showered her with affection.
And it worked! One day, Caswell said, she let her guard down and the next thing you know she was having sex with the boy standing up in the back of her classroom.
“He was flirty. I should have put a stop to it then, and I didn’t,” Caswell, who taught sixth, seventh and eighth graders said. “I wasn’t used to getting attention. It felt nice to have someone to compliment me and things like that, because I felt very unwanted.”
Caswell felt undesirable, she said, because her seven-year marriage was going badly at the time (when she was known as Jennifer Sexton).
“I never got complimented. Never even got a birthday present, Christmas present, for Valentine’s Day, nothing. I felt really bad about myself,” Caswell told Dr. Phil, choking back tears.
She griped to Dr. Phil that her no-good husband didn’t shower her with affection the way the unidentified 15-year-boy did.
The federal lawsuit upon which the judge based the damages charged that school district officials tried to conceal aspects of the many trysts between Caswell and the student. It claimed pain, suffering and emotional anguish resulting from the multitude of sexual encounters the student had with the twentysomething teacher.
The sex caused the student’s grades to drop, the lawsuit alleged. Also, he stopped engaging in extracurricular activities.
The student’s father also testified in a deposition that then-school principal Marty Webb alleged that the student was lying about all sex and instructed him “to keep his mouth closed” as rumors about the trysts with Caswell spread around school.
Caswell, now 31, pleaded guilty to a bunch of sex crimes including second-degree rape and forcible sodomy.
A criminal court judge sentenced the teacher to 10 years in prison.
She now resides at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma.
Her sentence requires her to serve at least eight and a half years in prison.
Attorneys for Hollis Public Schools have already agreed to the settle their part of the lawsuit by paying the teen and his family $125,000. (RELATED: School District Forks Over $125,000 For Male Teen Student’s Mind-Blowing Sex Trauma With Teacher)
Thus, the student and his family are eligible to receive a grand total of $1,125,000 as a result of the lengthy sex ordeal.
Caswell probably won’t pay much — if any — of the $1 million she now owes because she will likely be judgement-proof for the remainder of her life.
“The reality is that the money is probably uncollectable,” Bob Wyatt, an attorney for student and his family, told the Daily Oklahoman.
“That’s sad because of the damage that truly happened,” Wyatt added.
Nevertheless, Wyatt believes the judgment sends an important message.
“We are pleased that the judge considered the outrageous behavior of the teacher and are pleased with the fact that the judge sent a message to teachers and schools across the state of Oklahoma that sexual abuse of a child by a teacher will not be condoned,” Wyatt told the newspaper.