(Daily Mail) – A teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with one of her former students, who was just 15 at the time.
Amanda Watkins’ mother asked for leniency, saying: ‘My daughter is not a bad person, but she is a sick person.’
Watkins, 39, was a teacher at Sheffield Junior High School in Alabama when she was found having sex with the teenager in the back seat of her car in December 2009.
She admitted to police that the pair were engaging in sexual activity, according to the Times Register, and was fired the next month.
In November last year, she was convicted of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy, but her lawyer says she might appeal that verdict.
During sentencing, Watkins took the stand to apologise to the youth and ask for forgiveness.
Family members and two psychiatrists also testified on behalf of the former teacher, claiming that she was mentally ill and a custodial sentence would endanger her recovery.
The psychiatrists said that in prison Watkins would not have access to therapy or medication in prison.
And her mother, LaVon Dubois, said: ‘I ask leniency for Amanda so she can get the treatment she needs. My daughter is not a bad person, but she is a sick person.’
Watkins’ lawyer said that as a first-time offender who had already seen her career destroyed by her actions, the ex-teacher should be given probation rather than prison.
But the judge disagreed, handing down a 10-year sentence as well as a further 30 years on probation.
The district attorney celebrated the verdict, saying that the family of the victim was pleased to see Watkins behind bars.