March 10, 2010— -- Amy Beck may have cleared her conscience, but now faces serious jail time after freely admitting a months long affair with one of her middle school students.
The Burbank, Calif., teacher stunned police and school officials when she showed up at the police station and told them she'd repeatedly had sex with a now-15-year-old student.
"Obviously we were surprised," Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. Without Beck's confession, "we would have never known about this."
Detectives confirmed her story with the student and arrested her on four counts of sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of oral copulation with a minor.
"It seemed she was just feeling guilty and was overwhelmed with this guilt and had to get it off her chest," Quesada said.
Beck confessed to police with her lawyer by her side. That lawyer, Michael Williamson, was unavailable for comment today.
The affair allegedly started in March 2009 when the boy was 14 and continued through September. Beck, 33, is married with three children under the age of 18.
School officials told ABC's Los Angeles affiliate KABC that the David Starr Jordan Middle School social studies teacher had recently announced her resignation, but they had no idea that an affair with a student could have been behind it.
"She resigned last week, and quite frankly we didn't have any knowledge or understanding as to why that happened," Burbank Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Gabe Soumakian told KABC. "She was going to move out of town, but we didn't know what other issues that were being brought forward."
Beck, who was arraigned today, remains in police custody. Her bail was reduced to $175,000 from $400,000. She faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted.
Police have no reason at this point to believe Beck had sex with other students. The student named in the affair is now in high school.
Middle School Teachers Confesses to Sex With Student
Beck joins a long and growing list of teachers busted for having sex with their students.
The most infamous of them, Mary Kay Letourneau, served several years in prison and went on to marry her former student Villi Fualaau, the father of the two children she bore when Fualaau was a young teenager. Fualaau was just 12 when the affair started.
But police say it's unusual for anyone to just walk into the station and turn themselves in for a crime that wasn't on anyone's radar.
"It's not every day that somebody just comes in and confesses," Quesada said.