Thursday, June 04, 2015

Dateline: "Dangerous Liaisons" explores teacher behavior, presenting a female tutor with a male student, and a disturbing twist


NBC Dateline aired an unusual crime story “Dangerous Liaisons” (II)  tonight (Thursday). 
  
The case involved a tutor, Abigail Simon, at Catholic Center High School in Grand Rapids, MI, accused of an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year old male student. This is not part of the priest scandal because this time the perpetrator is an adult female, which seems to happen more often than one would expect. 
  
She claimed he was bigger and stronger (an athlete) for his age than usual and she was the victim.
  
She turned down a plea deal, which would have put her on a sex offender list but allowed her out of prison in a few months, and as tried and convicted on four counts.  A typical news story is here. She was sentenced to 8 to 25 years in prison, the mid-range of possibilities. 

The direct link is here.  The given embed code points to another show by mistake.
   
I’ve never been to Grand Rapids – I have been to Lansing, and through most of the state. But, curiously, Grand Rapids appeared in a dream about 15 years ago and I used it as a location in one of my sci-fi screenplays, “Prescience” (as well as “Baltimore Is Missing” for Project Greenlight in 2004).

And another of my scripts, “The Sub”, which created controversy when I worked as a substitute teacher in 2005, has a male sub drawn into some level of intimacy with a precocious male student. But the defense in this case maintains that the minor was unusually forceful and charismatic.  However, if so, why did he have low grades and need tutoring?
   
One of the defendant’s questions when first approached by police was, “What is your definition of a sexual encounter?”

The defendant had lived in a sparkling high rise in Grand Rapids.

She was tearful and remorseful at sentencing, and everyone regretted putting the boy (not named and face not shown) through the trial.

A 2009 episode of Dateline had used the title "Dangerous Liaisons" in a story about the girlfriend of a football player. 

Wikipedia attribution link for photo by Dekh of downtown Grand Rapids, under Creative Commons 3.0 share alike license. 

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