In Pennsylvania this week, police arrested Abbiejane Swogger, a 34-year-old exotic dancer turned teacher's aide from the town of Natrona, after she allegedly held a party in a motel room with several teenagers. She was charged Tuesday with possession of drugs and corrupting minors. Police said they found 9.5 grams of crack cocaine and a digital scale in the room.
They also reportedly found three teenagers, empty beer cans, the odor of marijuana and condom wrappers. Swogger has already resigned from her position as a special education assistant at a local school. More charges could be brought, police say.
In media interviews before she was formally charged Tuesday, Swogger acknowledged rumors about her having sex with teens, but said they were "absolutely not true." She acknowledged that "discreet sex" may have occurred among the teens, but said that she did not have sex during the hotel party.
"I did not serve them any alcohol," she said in an interview with KDKA TV in Pittsburgh. "Marijuana? I have no clue. If there was marijuana there it was not mine. Open condom wrappers? Yes … but I did not have sex with anyone."
Swogger claims she got the hotel room because she did not like to party in front of her two sons.
Swogger's attorney, Duke George, who was hired after Swogger talked about her arrest to the media, told ABC News that the candid comments his client made could jeopardize her defense. "The worst thing you can do without advice of counsel is to talk to anyone about your case," George said.
Police in Harrison, Pa., where Swogger lives, continue to investigate the woman, according to Michael Klein, the police chief. Additional charges ranging anywhere from corruption of a minor to much more serious counts could be made, he said.
Of the many women he works with, Reamer, the Rhode Island professor, said that occasionally a woman will be a sexual predator in the true sense of the word. Sometimes a woman suffers from cognitive deficiencies that prevent her from seeing what's wrong with her relationship with teens, while other times a woman's judgment will become impaired by circumstances in her life, he said.
More common, he said, are scenarios where women offenders are immature and, despite being in a position of senior authority, feel more comfortable around teens.
"She is someone who is much more comfortable relating to and interacting with younger people," Reamer said. "It's often threatening for her to spend time with people who are supposed to be intellectual peers. It's a kind of arrested development.
"There's almost a self-righteousness quality to it," he continued. "Who are all these folks, meaning law enforcement officials, child welfare officials, who are they to judge me?"
A classic example of this behavior, Reamer said, is Mary Kay Letourneau, a woman who was 34 when she made national headlines in 1996 with the news that she was pregnant with a 12-year-old student's child. Letourneau would spend several years in jail after pleading guilty to child rape. She was released in August 2004 and married the father of her child eight months later.
In an interview with "Good Morning America" in February 2007, Letourneau said she did "not for a moment" second-guess her feelings for the student at the time, though she did not know all of the legal ramifications that the relationship could bring.