Aug. 3, 2005 -- An English teacher in Albany, N.Y., faces two counts each of rape and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly having sex twice with a 16-year-old student from the Christian Brothers Academy in Colonie, N.Y.
Sandra "Beth" Geisel, a 42-year-old mother of four, is accused of two alleged encounters with the boy. If found guilty, she could receive up to seven years in jail. Authorities said she may have had sex with other students, but will not be charged because they are of legal age of consent. She was released on bail today.
The school fired Geisel shortly after police officers found her in the back seat of a parked car with a 17-year-old student. The administration then sent a note to parents vaguely outlining the events, which prompted a 16-year-old boy came forward alleging he and Geisel had sex on two occasions about two weeks apart in May -- once at her home and the other time allegedly inside a press box at the Christian Brothers Academy football field.
In a statement, the victim told authorities: "She told me she knew it was wrong, but she had been thinking about me for a while. We then took off our clothes and had sex. " He said he "took turns" with the teacher with another student, a 17-year-old. Investigators didn't press charges with the second teen because he's of the legal age.
Difficult for Boys to Come Forward
Authorities say in cases like this one it is extremely difficult for teenage boys to come forward.
"[That's] because of ridicule or because other people hold them up in higher esteem because of their so-called conquest," said Chief Steve Heider of the Colonie Police Dept.
"It's very important for young boys to come forward," said Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, an expert in sex abuse cases, "even if there is the feeling that they are not as victimized as young girls are."
High-profile cases, such as with Florida teacher Deborah LaFave, who has offered an insanity plea after charges she had sex with a student, and Seattle teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who recently married the student she was convicted of raping, raise the question of whether there are more of these cases or whether they are simply attracting more attention.
"I suspect we're hearing about it more," Pirro said. "I suspect we're going to be hearing a lot more about it."