In January, we wrote about Sarah M. Raymo, a Bay City middle school teacher who had been accused of having sex with a student who was between the ages of 13 and 16. Raymo eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct; she had initially been charged with four counts of first-degree CSC, the most serious of all sex crimes. Prosecutors dismissed these charges in exchange for Raymo’s pleas. Now, a judge has sentenced 32-year-old Raymo to a minimum of 7 years and six months in prison, an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines.
Raymo knew when she entered her guilty pleas to third-degree criminal sexual conduct that she would spend four years and nine months in prison, however the judge decided to use the higher end of the sentencing guidelines, calling Raymo’s actions a “horrendous crime.” She was sentenced on Monday to 7 years 6 months to 15 years in prison.
Raymo has no prior convictions, and according to her defense attorney the facts of the case do not constitute predatory conduct. Reyes said that using a classroom journal, the alleged victim initiated sexual conversations with Raymo, which then led to text messaging conversations. He said that while the alleged victim cannot consent to sexual intercourse, he could be capable of initiating conversations that were sexual in nature.
Bay County Chief Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt said in sentencing Raymo that, “Taking everything into consideration and including the fact that you violated the trust placed in you as a teacher of students, particularly the age of these students – we’re talking about eighth grade – the higher end of the guidelines is appropriate.”
The teen victim said that he and Raymo had sex on six to eight occasions and that some of the encounters took place in her Essexville home, while others occurred in the classroom.
In Michigan, a person who is 13 but younger than 16 cannot lawfully give consent to engage in sexual acts with an adult, however this does not prevent a young teenager from initiating the contact. Clearly, the teacher in this case should have refrained from the behavior she allegedly engaged in, however she now faces a substantial number of years in prison, more than she anticipated prior to pleading guilty due to the judge’s upward departure from sentencing guidelines.
If you have been accused of having sexual relations with a minor or student, child molestation, child pornography, or any crime of a sexual nature, take action immediately to protect your freedom, reputation, and future. Consult with a highly skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer.