A guilty verdict could have landed David Paschal, the 38-year-old teacher, a 30-year prison sentence.
But because the student was over the age of consent, the relationship was not criminal, the court said in its 4-3 ruling.
“Regardless of how we feel about Paschal’s conduct, which could correctly referred to as reprehensible, we cannot abandon our duty to uphold the rule of law when a case presents distasteful facts,” wrote Chief Justice Jim Hannah, according to The Huffington Post.
In dissent, Justice Robert Brown warned that the majority opinion would cause chaos in schools.
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