Kimberly Jo Larkin had the book thrown at her yesterday in a York, Pa. courtroom. The former teacher was sentenced to six to 12 months in prison for her sexual liaison with a 16-year-old student at Paradise School for Boys.
Larkin did not deny having sex with the teen, with whom she was intimate at least five times. She simply maintained that their illicit relationship did not begin until after he was no longer her student.
But the teen, himself, contradicted Larkin. He was still a student at the Paradise School, he testified in court, when Larkin, then 39-years-old, gave him his introduction to sex education.
Back in April, the former teacher was acquitted of charges of “institutional sexual assault,” a third-degree felony, in which there is an institutional relationship between a defendant and victim. Like a prison guard and inmate or, as in Larkin’s case, a teacher and under-age student.
Instead of the felony conviction, which would have meant certain prison time, Larkin was found guilty of two misdemeanors – “corruption of minors,” which bans her from teaching for the rest of her life, and “furnishing alcohol to a minor.”
The prosecutor in Larkin’s case asked only that the she be placed on five years probation. The former teacher’s defense attorney was good to go with that since it meant his client would spend no time behind bars.
But Common Pleas Judge Craig Trebilcock – God love him – had a different idea. He punished Larkin to the fullest extent Pennsylvania law allowed.
Now, there are some who may think the judge too harsh, especially since his sentence will separate Larkin from her two teen-aged children.
There are others who may think it’s kind of cool for a teen-age boy to have sex with his 39-year-old teacher, though they would see things quite differently if the teacher was a grown man and the student an under-age girl.
But Judge Trebilcock put Larkin’s crime in proper perspective. There was a “disconnect,” he said, between the seemingly prim and proper woman who stood before him in his courtroom and the hot-to-trot teacher who turned on her 16-year-old student to alcohol and sex.
Larkin’s actions were “despicable,” the judge said. The former teacher “is a huge discredit” to her profession, he added.
But Larken’s biggest crime, in Judge Trebilcock’s eyes, is that sexually-deviant teachers like her are the reason that “good teachers,” morally upstanding teachers, even Christian teachers, can’t innocently hug a child who is suffering in some way.
Larken sobbed in court yesterday, claiming that she was manipulated by her teen-aged student, and not the other way around.
Her refusal to own up to her sins merit the former teacher the unexpected prison sentence she received.