MERIDIAN, Idaho – A southwest Idaho high school teacher who had sex with a student was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail and must register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Rebecca Mason-Cales, 26, had initially pleaded not guilty to six counts of battery against a minor child aged 16 or 17, but in August she entered a revised guilty plea of guilty to one count, the Idaho Press reported.
Meridian police believe Mason-Cales and the Mountain View High School student’s relationship began in August 2017 when the student was a 16-year-old junior.
Although by law he is a victim, the teen insisted in a crowded courtroom that his interactions with Mason-Cales were all consensual, and he was never forced or coerced into doing something he didn’t want to do.
“If she were to go to jail for this, the state and its people would not be any safer,” he said.
The teacher didn’t have malicious intentions, said Michael Bartlett, Mason-Cales’ lawyer.
John Dinger, the case’s prosecutor, sees the relationship differently.
He pointed out to 4th District Court Judge Richard Greenwood a letter where the teen said he acknowledges his guilt because Mason-Cales is married, and thus she committed adultery.
In addition to serving 120 days in jail, Mason-Cales will be placed on sex offender probation for a period of up to seven years.
Greenwood also banned her from contacting the teen until he is 21 years old and working anywhere where she could have contact with children ages 12 to 18.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter